The Austin Chronicle

Ronnie Earle: Prosecutions of Elected Officials

April 11, 2008, News

1978: Supreme Court Justice Don Yarbrough (Dem): forgery, aggravated perjury, and failure to appear.

1979: Travis Co. Commissioner Bob Honts (Dem): official misconduct and bribery. Pled to a misdemeanor, misapplying county property, in 1984. Ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.

1980: Sen. Gene Jones (Dem): used state computer to prepare campaign mailings. Pled guilty to misdemeanor charge of official misconduct. Paid $10,000 restitution and a $2,000 fine.

1981: Rep. Mike Martin (Rep): pled to a misdemeanor charge of perjury, 1982. Resigned from office and race and paid a $2,000 fine.

1981: Treasurer Warren G. Harding (Dem): pled to class A misdemeanor, official misconduct. Received one year deferred adjudication. Paid $2,000 restitution and a $2,000 fine.

1983: Ronald Earle (Dem): Earle failed to file a campaign finance report on time. He charged himself with the misdemeanor offense and paid the $200 fine.

1983: House Speaker Gib Lewis (Dem): pled to class B misdemeanor, failure to file financial statement. Paid $800 fine.

1983: Attorney General Jim Mattox (Dem): found not guilty of commercial bribery.

1983: San Antonio Voter Registrar Marco Gomez (Dem): pled guilty to charges of securing execution of document by deception and tampering with a governmental record. Received 10 years probation, 90 days Travis Co. Jail. Paid $49,994 restitution and a $2,000 fine.

1983: Rep. Charles Staniswallis (Rep): pled guilty to charges of theft and tampering with a governmental record. Received 10 years probation. Paid $8,976 restitution and a $2,000 fine.

1992: Gib Lewis (Dem): pled guilty to two counts of filing false financial statements. Paid $1,000 fine on each count.

1994: U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Rep): indicted for tampering with physical evidence, tampering with a governmental record, and official misconduct. Following evidentiary hearing, state moved to dismiss charges; court refused to grant dismissal. State (Earle) declined to present evidence; court directed verdict of not guilty.

1995: Rep. Betty Denton (Dem): pled to misdemeanor charges of perjury. Received six months deferred adjudication. Paid $2,000 fine.

1995: Lane Denton (Dem), executive director of the Department of Public Safety Officers' Assoc­i­a­tion: found guilty of second degree (felony) theft and misapplication of fiduciary property. Ordered to pay $67,201 in restitution, $12,000 fine. Received 10 years probation, 60 days jail, and 240 hours community service.

2000: Rep. Gilbert Serna (Dem): pled to multiple charges of theft by public servant. Placed on probation for 10 years and ordered to serve 90 days in jail and pay restitution of more than $13,000 and a $3,000 fine.

2005: U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay (Rep): pending; see "Indictments Pending."

2007: 365th District Court Judge (Eagle Pass) Amado Abascal: pled to misdemeanor tampering with government record. Ordered to pay $14,000 in administrative penalty and a $4,000 fine.

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