SHERMAN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A federal judge has granted a new trial to former Richardson Mayor Laura Jordan and her developer husband, Mark Jordan.
In March, a jury found them guilty of bribery and wire fraud dating back to then-Laura Maczka’s time in office.
Mark and Laura Jordan leave the courthouse in Sherman, Texas (Jack Fink – CBS 11)
The judge on Thursday cited communication between a court security officer and a juror before the verdict was reached.
The new trial is set for July.
In the first trial, prosecutors said Mr. Jordan hired then-Ms. Maczka for a job at his company for $150,000 a year, which was more than double what he had paid another employee who was licensed.
The government said the former mayor’s support for the project came after she campaigned on a platform of opposing apartments.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Christopher Eason told jurors, “This is not about an affair, it’s about corruption” and that they were “lying to cover up the corruption.”
Eason also said, “She was the first popularly elected mayor in the City of Richardson. She abused her positions of trust at his (Mark Jordan’s) direction.”
She served as mayor from May 2013 through May 2015. Council members previously selected the city’s mayor.
READ THE JUDGE’S ORDER HERE:
jurors do not have to agree. The jury can always “send a note back saying we can’t reach a
United States Attorney Joseph D. Brown issued the following statement regarding the issuance of an order granting a new trial in the matter of USA v. Jordan, et al, in the Eastern District of Texas:
“We disagree with the ruling. The jury heard weeks of testimony, carefully deliberated, and found the defendants guilty. We think they got it right, and it was done fairly. The order for a new trial was based on reports from witnesses who we have not been able to talk to, or cross examine, or do any of the things that we typically do to test the accuracy of statements. What we do know from the witness statements does not seem like enough to overturn a carefully deliberated verdict.”