The story's circulating this morning that Terri Hodge is this close to pleading guilty in her involvement in the Dallas City Hall federal corruption case and is stepping down from the Texas House of Representatives. Unfair Park has been unable to reach anyone in the U.S. Attorney's Office handling the case, or Hodge's attorney, but the Austin American-Statesman and Harvey Kronberg both insist she's minutes away from resigning her office and pleading guilty to a single count of not paying her taxes. If you recall, she was indicted on several counts related to her taking free rent from Brian Potashnik and wife Cheryl in exchange for her letters of support for their housing developments. Developing.
Hodge, of course, was supposed to go to trial on March 8.
Update at 9:07 a.m.: As soon as I posted this, I heard back from Kathy Colvin in the U.S. Attorney's Office, who confirms: Hodge, a Democrat, is taking a plea. Here's an excerpt from the press release; the legal docs are after the jump.
Terri Hodge Factual Resume Cheryl Potashnik Plea Agreement Cheryl Potashnik Factual Resume
Gladys E. Hodge, also known as "Terri Hodge," who was to go on trial early next month on charges outlined in a 31-count indictment charging 14 public officials and their associates with various offenses related to a bribery and extortion scheme involving affordable housing developments in the Dallas area, has pleaded guilty, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. As a condition of her plea with the government, Hodge, who was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, District 100, in 1996, and re-elected to the same position in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008, has agreed to resign her office and never seek or hold future public office.
Hodge entered her guilty plea this morning, before U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, to fraud and false statements on an income tax return. She faces a maximum statutory sentence of three years in prison, a $100,000 fine, and restitution to the IRS. At this morning's hearing, Judge Lynn indicated that she would be setting the sentencing date as expeditiously as possible.