in Houston, Texas
Former Johnson County commissioner John Matthews pleads guilty in bribery scheme, sentenced to 4 years
Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012, 12:24PM CST
By Mark Lisheron

John Matthews, who accepted at least $125,000 bribes in an energy company scheme while serving as a Johnson County commissioner, was sentenced to four years in prison.

Matthews, 49, pleaded guilty to felony theft by a public servant, abuse of power and tampering with public records, avoiding a trial that had been scheduled for September, Associated Press is reporting today.

District Judge John Neill in Cleburne ordered Matthews to repay $5,000 to Johnson County, just south of Fort Worth.

Matthews resigned in June of 2011 at the start of an investigation that led to his indictment on Dec. 15. He had been accused of being paid by an agent for Gulf Energy Co. for directing more than $300,000 in county taxpayer money to the company.

The indictment also charged Matthews with buying tools, swimming pool maintenance supplies and Christmas lights for his home for three years on a county credit card. Among the tools were four kits Matthews presented to his fellow commissioners as Christmas gifts.

The investigation into the bribery and thefts continues, Associated Press says.

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of money by Flickr user stevendepolo, used via a Creative Commons license.

Evangelist Tina Gorzalski
Saturday, 07/21/2012 - 06:19PM

Thats it He only has to repay 5000. Does Matthews receive his retirement while imprisoned?

Thursday, 08/02/2012 - 08:26PM

Cannot believe he only has to serve 170 days. He's a pompass, arrogant crook that didn't get what he deserved. There are some other commissioners and a county judge in Cleburne that need to be investigated!!

Saturday, 08/04/2012 - 02:50PM

Looks to me like he must have had something on someone else to get off that light. Stealing from the taxpayer is about the lowest of the low!

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