Eversole to hold fundraiser despite running unopposed

January 4, 2011 7:44:38 PM PST
He ran unopposed in November and doesn't run again for four years, so why does indicted Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole need to have a campaign fundraiser? Organizers say it's an annual event, held at the same time and the same hotel, and that "there is nothing out of the ordinary about the timing of the event." It's being held just a week before Eversole goes on trial on charges he accepted bribes from a county contractor. Eversole denies the charges, but the commissioner has already spent $330,000 in campaign money on lawyers, much of it coming from county contractors.

It's all legal, but questioned by 13 Undercover's ethics expert.

"It makes the elected official look compromised," said Fred Lewis, 13 Undercover Ethics Expert.

In 2007, our surveillance of Commissioner Eversole caught him at his annual fundraiser, but it was actually held in July, not February. More than $500,000 was raised. We won't know for months how much, if any, of the new campaign money raised will end up in the hands of Eversole's lawyers.