HOUSTON Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversol was in federal court Tuesday afternoon as lawyers laid out their opening statements in his conspiracy and bribery trial.

The issue in the case is whether, Eversole, who in part controls projects for the third largest county in the United States, had his influence purchased by bribes.

Federal prosecutors outlined key elements of their case of a developer s generous payments to Eversole, including a $63,000 gift to the veteran commissioner to buy land for his house in The Heights.

What (Eversole) wanted was a good life, he wanted money, said U.S. Attorney John Pearson. Although he swore in oath to serve people of Harris County, he served himself.

Eversole s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said appearances could be deceiving.

Once a lawyer asked if I wore a toupe, Hardin said as he tugged at what clearly wasn t a toupe Things are not always what they seem.

Eversole s trial will continue Wednesday.

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