Former Richardson mayor and developer husband sentenced to 6 years in prison each for bribery and tax fraud
SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - A string of favors, bribery, love affairs, and fraud all laid out in a public trial at the federal courthouse in Sherman.
U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant gave former Richardson Mayor Laura Jordan, also known as Laura Maczka, and her husband Mark Jordan 6 years in federal prison each.
Maczka served as the mayor of Richardson between May 2013 to April 2015.
Her husband, Mark Jordan, is a land developer.
They were indicted in 2018, making Thursday’s sentencing four long years in the making.
“For the residents of Richardson, today is a major step toward rebuilding public trust,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the FBI Jim Dwyer.
Maczka and Jordan were convicted in July of bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds, tax fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds, and conspiracy to commit tax fraud.
“Contrary to her campaign promises and her oath of office, she repeatedly supported and voted for zoning changes sought by Mark Jordan,” said Dwyer.
Federal prosecutors said Maczka accepted thousands of dollars in cash and checks, $24,000 in home renovations, luxury hotel stays, and airfare upgrades for a vote supporting zoning changes, which allowed Jordan to construct more than 1,000 new apartments in Richardson.
“Essentially, you scratch my back, I scratch your back, and when caught they tried to cover up their actions,’ said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston.
The defense argued Maczka’s intent was one of romance as the two married after the federal investigation began.
The government did not buy the love story.
“Look at the timeline,” said Featherston. “The timeline really tells the story.”
U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston hopes the outcome of Thursday’s trial sends a message to the public.
“Today, this is a victory for justice,” said Featherston. “It’s a victory for that democratic process, it’s a victory for small towns, big towns, big cities so that the citizens know that those processes are handled properly, the taxpayer dollar is being handled appropriately.”
And, he added, it’s a warning to elected officials past, present, and future.
“For those officials who maybe decide they don’t want to follow the law and they want to maybe take a bribe this will resonate with them, should make them think twice because spending six years in federal prison is no walk in the park,” said Featherston.
Both Maczka and Jordon have 90 days to turn themselves in.
In court Thursday, the house was packed, and both spoke saying they were sorry for the hurt they caused.
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