Constable Abercia resigns amid bribery investigation

Former Precinct 1 Constable Jack Abercia and two of his staffers entered guilty pleas Thursday in court.

January 5, 2012 3:48:35 AM PST
13 Undercover has been investigating the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office for some time now and so has the FBI. Now, we know the constable is stepping down, and 13 Undercover confronted him minutes after that decision was made official.

Jack Abercia used a walker; he has cancer and he's very angry.

"I don't have nothing to say to y'all at all. Y'all trying to burn somebody that don't need to be burned," Abercia told us.

Abercia took his name off next year's ballot just weeks ago, days after FBI agents showed up at his office with a subpoena. The feds are probing alleged bribes in the hiring of a deputy. We reported on that investigation and got an earful from the constable.

"I resent the hell out of you," he told us.

"What did I do?" we asked.

"You talk too much that's not true," he said.

"What's not true, constable?"

"What y'all are trying to put on me."

The chief deputy of Precinct 1, Michael Butler, turned in his badge just days after being questioned by the FBI.

"And there was nothing wrong with the James hiring?" we asked Abercia.

"That was his problem. I told him I didn't want him," he responded.

And the constable denies ever pocketing a penny on the deal.

"You don't think the public deserves some explanation for why the FBI is investigating your office?" we asked Abercia.

"They can do what they want. I haven't done nothing that I'm afraid of ever coming out," he replied.

We asked the constable to sit down because he appeared clearly ill. We wanted to give him his final chance to talk to taxpayers.

"I've enjoyed doing what I did for them and only them. I wasn't in there to get my pockets filled," he said.

You'll be hearing and seeing a lot more about Precinct 1 in the weeks ahead. It's the third constable's office in Harris County now facing scrutiny.