HOUSTON It was supposed to be a dream house, custom-designed and built for Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Eversole.
But now it s at the center of a federal bribery investigation of the county commissioner.
A five-count indictment alleges that Eversole was paid more than $100,000 in cash gifts most of which were used to buy real estate. Eversole says the money was just a gift, but the U.S. Attorney isn t buying it.
According to allegations in the indictment, Eversole s friend, developer Mike Surface, moved $65,000 from his account to his companies first Weston Lake, then Keystone. Then, the money went to a cashier s check in Surface s name, which then went to a second cashier s check in Eversole s name.
The final $63,000 check arrived two days before Eversole s real-estate loan for nearly the same amount was due.
Prosecutors also say Surface also paid for several of Eversole s golfing vacations.
Defense attorneys insist they were just gifts not bribes.
Any things they ever did with each other, whether trips or mutual gifts, were part of a friendship and had nothing to do with Jerry Eversole s official duties, defense attorney Rusty Hardin said.