Former Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka Jordan and local land developer Mark Jordan have been charged in federal court with conspiring to use Maczka’s official position as mayor “to benefit and enrich themselves through bribery.”
A seven-count indictment filed May 10 charges Maczka and Jordan with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, honest services wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery, and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.
Maczka, who is now married to Jordan, served as mayor of Richardson from May 2013 through April 2015.
The federal indictment details a series of cash payments, travel expenses, and other “things of value” from Jordan to Maczka, as well as a relationship between him and the then-married mayor — all allegedly exchanged for her favorable votes on his controversial Palisades Central mixed-use development deal:
In exchange for Maczka’s favorable support and votes regarding the Palisades Property, Jordan offered and gave to Maczka, and Maczka accepted: monetary payments, which caused interstate wire communications, payments for renovations of Maczka’s residence, luxury hotel stays, flight upgrades, meals, lucrative employment with one of Jordan’s companies that involved the Palisades Property, intimate sexual contact, and other personal benefits and things of value.
“These are the kinds of things that make the public distrust government officials,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “Public servants should not be for sale, and this indictment clearly indicates that that Ms. Maczka’s vote was for sale, and Mr. Jordan certainly was willing to buy it.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas said in a statement Wednesday announcing the charges:
“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 Richardson neighborhoods.
“The indictment alleges that, in exchange, Jordan paid Maczka over $18,000 in cash and $40,000 by check, paid for over $24,000 in renovations to Maczka’s home, paid for Maczka’s luxury hotel stays and airfare upgrades, and provided Maczka lucrative employment at one of Jordan’s companies. According to the indictment, Maczka and Jordan failed to disclose to the public that they had coordinated to effect the zoning changes Jordan wanted and that Jordan had provided a stream of benefits to Maczka.”
As part of Jordan’s Palisades deal, Maczka authorized negotiation of a 25-year, 50-percent tax rebate of up to $47 million in infrastructure costs. Richardson taxpayers are on the hook for those costs regardless of the outcome of these prosecutions.
An investigation conducted by city officials in the spring of 2015 found no evidence that Maczka violated state laws or city ethics rules. But federal investigators uncovered private emails between Maczka and Jordan regarding the Palisades project, and found Maczka omitted gifts from Jordan on official government disclosure forms and made “false and misleading statements” to Richardson City Council and the Internal Revenue Service.
Maczka ran unopposed for a second term as mayor in the May 2015 election, but announced in April that she’d accepted a job with Jordan’s development company and wouldn’t take office once elected.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting the public corruption probe. If convicted, both Maczka and Jordan face up to 20 years in federal prison.