Former North Texas Mayor and Land Developer Husband Convicted in Public Corruption Trial
Saturday, July 24, 2021
SHERMAN, Texas – The former mayor of Richardson, Texas, and a land developer whom she married post-indictment but in advance of trial, have been convicted of federal bribery and tax fraud violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei today.
Laura Jordan, also known as Laura Maczka, 56, and Mark Jordan, 54, both of Plano, Texas were found guilty by a jury following a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III. Both defendants were found guilty of bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a program receiving federal funds, tax fraud, and conspiracy to commit tax fraud.
“The cornerstone of a representative democracy is that citizens can rely on their elected officials to wield their official powers in a way that furthers the best interests of the community, rather than to benefit their friends and cronies,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.
“Today’s verdict will go a long way towards bolstering public confidence in the integrity of our democratic institutions and promoting open and honest governance. I thank the jury for their service and commend the investigative and prosecutorial team for their tenacity and professionalism.”
“Ultimately, the trust of the citizens of Richardson was betrayed by Laura and Mark Jordan,”
said Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno.
“Our elected officials are held to the highest standards, and Laura Jordan traded her responsibility to serve her constituents to enjoy a stream of financial benefits. The FBI and our partners will continue to ensure that those who violate their obligation to the public are held fully accountable.”
According to information presented in court, from May 2013 through April 2015, Maczka was the mayor of Richardson, Texas, and Jordan was a land developer. Maczka and Jordan conspired to devise and execute a scheme to commit bribery.
Maczka, contrary to her campaign promises, supported and repeatedly voted for controversial zoning changes sought by Jordan, ultimately allowing for the construction of over 1,000 new apartments in Richardson near other Richardson neighborhoods. In exchange, Jordan paid Maczka over $18,000 in cash, an additional $40,000 by check, and paid for over $24,000 in renovations to Maczka’s home.
Jordan also paid for luxury hotel stays and airfare upgrades for Maczka, and provided Maczka lucrative employment at one of Jordan’s companies. According to court testimony, Maczka and Jordan failed to disclose to the public that they had coordinated to affect the zoning changes Jordan wanted and that Jordan had provided a stream of benefits to Maczka.
Maczka and Jordan were indicted by a federal grand jury on May 10, 2018. Maczka and Jordan each face up to 10 years in federal prison.
The maximum statutory sentences prescribed by Congress are provided here for information purposes, as the sentencings will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Rattan, Sean Taylor, Brent Andrus, and other attorneys from the Plano branch office.
Hey Tom @goodwinlaw – It’s Friday and what a week it has been. Y’all coulda told us that Bucklo’s delayin’ the summary judgment motions till a later date coz when we had to ask, it brought up your other friend, Winston…
We’re gonna be sharing soon… @RollingStone @nytimes @abc pic.twitter.com/f1zyMJqCoX
— LawsInTexas (@lawsintexasusa) July 23, 2021
Here’s the Recap of the First Trial’s Reversal by the Fifth Circuit Last Year
United States v. Jordan, No. 19-40499 (5th Cir. May 1, 2020)
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of defendants’ motion for a new trial on the basis of prejudicial outside influence on the jury.
The court held that the district court did not abuse its broad discretion in granting the motion for a new trial without holding an evidentiary hearing.
To the extent there is a bright-line rule applicable to allegations of outside influence on the jury, the court held that it was not applicable to this case. Furthermore, the district court did not abuse its discretion in exercising its prerogative, within broadly defined parameters, to handle the allegation of outside influence in the least disruptive manner possible in this unusual case.
Finally, the district court permissibly concluded that the evidence showed a sufficient likelihood of prejudice to shift the burden to the Government, and that the Government did not (and could not) show “no reasonable possibility that the jury’s verdict was influenced by” the CSO’s