Dallas County constable convicted on corruption charge

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by BRETT SHIPP/ WFAA

WFAA

Posted on July 2, 2012 at 9:20 PM

DALLAS — Dallas County Constable Derick Evans has been removed from office, convicted by a jury Monday of engaging in organized crime.

The crime: Forcing his deputies to sell raffle tickets to raise money for his re-election campaign.

His punishment: Two years' probation.

During a trial on the same charges late last year, jurors became deadlocked over whether Precinct 1 Constable Evans was engaging in criminal activity.

During a retrial over the past week, a new jury saw things differently.

"As I said during the last trial, justice is slow,” said special prosecutor Ted Lyon. “Sometimes justice never comes, but it came here today with this good jury, and what they did was exactly right."

Evans was accused of abusing his office by forcing his deputies to sell raffle tickets in order to raise money for his re-election campaign.

"He forced his employees to sell political tickets while on duty,” Lyon said . “If they didn't do what he told them, he would penalize them or fire them."

Evans has maintained his innocence. He insisted that he never knew running a raffle to raise political donations was against the law.

Attorney Michael Todd argued that the handful of deputies accusing his client were out for revenge.

"Each one of them had disciplinary history,” Todd said. “Each one of them did not make allegations until there was some kind of disciplinary action against them."

Todd also complained that key evidence presented in the first trial was prohibited in this one.

Regardless, jurors ruled on the evidence heard over the past week. They convicted Evans and sentenced him to a two-year probated sentence and a $10,000 fine.

He must vacate his office immediately.

"And let me tell you, we are going to be very adamant about him not going back to that office," Lyon said.

Evans will get a chance to retake office during a hearing scheduled for July 23. Prosecutors will again argue that Evans has committed a felony, has violated the public trust, and is not fit for office.

There is no word yet on who will take over Evans' duties pending an appeal.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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