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Former Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka and the land developer who she took bribes from and later married were found guilty of conspiring to cheat the public in a scheme to build a controversial real estate project.

A jury convicted Maczka and her now-husband Mark Jordan on multiple federal bribery, conspiracy, and fraud charges.

Maczka, who served as mayor of Richardson from May 2013 through April 2015, accepted cash, travel expenses, and other “things of value” from Jordan in exchange for favorable votes on his Palisades Central mixed-use development deal:

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 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 also began a personal relationship.

The two were charged last May after federal investigators uncovered damaging emails between Maczka and Jordan regarding the Palisades project. City officials conducted an investigation in 2015 but found no evidence Maczka violated state laws or city ethics rules.

“This was more than an ethical violation; this was absolutely criminal,” said Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “We need juries that recognize public corruption for what it is and support prosecutions that attempt to hold accountable those that cheat. This jury certainly did that.”

Maczka and Jordan each face up to 20 years in federal prison for their crimes.

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