Woman says she didn't rip off mayor's wife

March 7, 2008 9:27:23 PM PST
Relatives of the former first lady of Humble say their aunt was betrayed and deceived by the one person she thought she could trust. But the long-time friend, accused of ripping her off, says they have it all wrong.

Mary Sue Jackson wants to set the record straight. While a grand jury found enough evidence to indict her on felony theft, Jackson and her attorney say this is all a big misunderstanding.

Fresh out of jail and full of emotion, Jackson is standing her ground.

"I would not steal from Ms. McKay," she said. "I love her very much and I miss her."

Lillian McKay, 91, widow of the legendary doctor Haden McKay, who served as mayor of Humble for 24 years never had any children.

"She was like a grandmother," Jackson said. "She told me I was like a daughter to her all the time. We loved each other very much."

Jackson's relationship with the McKay spans two decades, working first for her late husband as a nurse, then at the local museum and most recently at the 91 year old's home.

"Ms. McKay and Ms. Jackson talked about business and made arrangements to pay for the bills and to manage the affairs of Ms. McKay," said Jackson's attorney Jim Lindeman.

The elderly woman may have entrusted Jackson with her checkbook, but McKay's nephew claims she abused that trust and stole nearly $200,000 from his aunt over a three year period.

"She paid for her daughter's wedding, paid for her daughter's taxes, her daughter's insurance in Washington state," Rocky Janda said. "It's just one thing after another."

I asked Jackson's attorney if Mrs. McKay offered to pay for her daughter's wedding.

"Certainly," he responded. "Everything that transpired out of those accounts was authorized by Mrs. McKay."

Jackson's attorney says McKay was known for her generosity. What's more, he says the transfers from Mrs. McKay's bank account to his client were actually reimbursements for expenses that were made on behalf of Mrs. McKay. Her nephew isn't buying it.

"You won't find anybody that was there when she supposedly got this permission and my aunt denied it," Janda said. "The fact is, when I first asked her, she looked at me and said this is crazy."

With the case now headed to court, Jackson maintains she's innocent.

"I didn't steal from her and I love her," she said.

Bank records have already been subpoenaed by the Harris County District Attorney's office. Jackson is due back in court April 1st.

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