HOUSTON - Soon-to-be former Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Eversole pleaded guilty to a federal charge on Friday.
On Friday, he pleaded guilty to lying to a federal investigator. He had been charged of conspiracy, accepting a bribe and making false statements on tax returns in 2003 and 2004. All of those charges were dismissed.
"The government dismissed every charge that suggested he misused his office," said Rusty Hardin, Eversole's attorney. "All he pleaded guilty to today was being interviewed about six weeks before his friend was going to be indicted by the feds, he was asked about things of value that he had received from Mike Surface. He told them some, he didn't tell them all of them. What he pled guilty to was misleading the FBI by not telling them certain things about Mike Surface."
Part of the plea deal involved Eversole resigning from office. He submitted that resignation earlier this month and it becomes effective Saturday. He is also not allowed to run for public office for 10 years.
Eversole will be sentenced in January. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Surface, Harris County's former facilities management director, had been indicted on conspiracy and paying a bribe. On Friday, he pleaded guilty to filing a false tax statement.
Surface and Eversole have been friends for many years.
The indictment accused Surface of paying more than $100,000 in bribes and Eversole of accepting them in return for county contracts.
Court documents alleged that Eversole accepted a variety of payments from Surface, including a $63,000 check for a down payment on a new house, almost $17,000 worth of landscaping, more than $1,000 for a custom suit, five antique firearms and eight paid vacations.
Precinct 4 is the largest in Harris County with more than a million residents and an annual budget of $119 million.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett will name Eversole's temporary replacement on Monday. Emmett's office said there are 66 people under consideration for the appointment.
Eversole has represented Harris County Precinct 4 since January 1991.
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