Former state Rep. Terri Hodge was sentenced to a year in federal prison after a slew of bigshots testified at her sentencing hearing asking for leniency, reports the Dallas News. According to the DMN Investigates Blog:
Jason Trahan says [Hodge's] supporters included: Dallas County state District Judge John Creuzot; former state Rep. Harryette Ehrhardt; current Houston-area state Rep. Dora Olivo; Brendolyn Rogers Johnson, a former member of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles; and James P. Graham, chairman of Palo Petroleum and former chairman of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board.
This quote particularly stood out for me from the news coverage:
Brendolyn Rogers Johnson, a former member of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, spoke to the judge on Hodge's behalf.
"Ms. Hodge is a lady of integrity, compassion and is relentless in her pursuit of fairness and justice for all," Johnson said. "I have personally witnessed her work tirelessly for the people in her district, as well as those who called upon her for assistance."
"Compasssion"? For some. "Relentless"? Yes, but also ineffectual. However, "a lady of integrity"? No ma'am. She is not.
After the first time I mentioned these allegations on Grits, then-Rep. Hodge pidgeon-holed me at the capitol and angrily berated me, swearing up and down it was all a pack of lies, that when the case went to trial everyone would see she was innocent. Hodge wanted me to publish a followup including her declarations of innocence, but even then I didn't believe her. By that time the records had already been discovered regarding the developers paying her rent, and she simply had no credible explanation - indeed, she didn't even attempt to provide one.
I said the best I could do was wait till all the evidence was in to pass judgment, and now it's in. She was lying, not just to me but to everybody, to her constituents - maybe IMO even to herself - and she tried to cover it up by bullying those who crossed her. Terri Hodge lacked integrity at a fundamental level. And the array of Democratic politicians in Dallas who tolerate and excuse such behavior deserve nearly as much disapprobation as she does.
Yes, Terri Hodge fought the good fight on several issues I care about, but so did a lot of people who weren't taking bribes or illegally siphoning money from their campaign account. I'm tired of being asked to excuse corruption and avarice on the pretext of good intentions. At this particular point in history, that's not good enough anymore.