Democratic precinct chair and former City Plan Commissioner Neil Emmons was certainly not alone in his support of Terri Hodge in her bid for an eighth term in Texas House District 100, as Hodge's endorsements included several of the city's most notable politicos. But even after Hodge pleaded guilty in the City Hall corruption case, agreed to resign from her seat and, most important, admitted to the government's allegations of accepting more than $30,000 from Brian and Cheryl Potashnik and using campaign contributions for personal use, Emmons (one of several Hodge supporters we've contacted for comment) continues to stand by Hodge.
"I can think of so many public officials who have done so many underhanded things that aren't crimes that have much more negative impacts on people's lives long term," he tells Unfair Park.
Emmons, a resident in Hodge's district, says his relationship with her resembles extended family, and he praises her for often answering the phone in her office when constituents called with concerns. He says the indictment against Hodge was "painful" and he had hoped it wasn't true, but he doesn't regret endorsing her. "I don't because from where I stood, she did a great job as a rep."
He adds that her plea deal hasn't changed his close ties to Hodge. "You don't desert that level of friendship," he says. "I'm just very sad and disappointed."
Because her East Dallas home was removed from District 100 during the Republican redistricting efforts of the early 2000s, prompting Hodge to move into the apartment subsidized by the Potashniks, Emmons speculates that she may have not needed such help had the redistricting not occurred. But, Emmons stresses, "I'm not saying people get a pass if they get thrown out of their district."