Lawmaker gets separate corruption trial

October 3, 2008 4:52:25 AM PDT
State Rep. Terri Hodge will be tried separately from other defendants named in a corruption indictment about bribery and extortion allegations within Dallas City Hall if she wins re-election in November, a federal judge ruled Thursday. U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn's decision to grant Hodge a separate trial, a request prosecutors did not oppose, will allow the Dallas Democrat to represent her district when the legislative session begins in January.

Hodge was among 16 people named in a federal corruption indictment in September 2007. The indictment accuses developer Brian Potashnik of bribing Hodge and other current and former officials in exchange for their support of his low-income housing developments.

Hodge faces charges of bribery, fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors allege she received breaks on rent, utility bills and carpet while living in one of Potashnik's low-income complexes.

Potashnik and Hodge have denied wrongdoing.

The trial date for the other defendants is scheduled for Jan. 20.

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