Federal judge rejects Liberty County judge's plea deal

March 16, 2012 4:58:25 PM PDT
We have a major update in a story broken by 13 Undercover. A federal judge in Beaumont rejected a plea agreement between the US government and the former Liberty County judge.

You'll remember Phil Fitzgerald was named in a 27-count indictment after 13 Undercover helped expose details of an alleged bribery-kickback scheme involving a Hurricane Ike debris contract.

In October, Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to a felony with the understanding he would serve 36 months probation and pay a $75,000 fine.

On Friday, in a rare move, the judge in the case rejected that plea deal, likely sending the case to trial.

You can read much more about this in the Cleveland Advocate, our Houston Community Newspaper partner online. We want to thank them for their help in reporting this story.