A Democratic consultant accused with attempting to bribe a public official in an effort to influence the outcome of a legislative election in Harris County, Texas, has been convicted.
Damien Jones, according to KTRK-TV, sent Gina Calanni threatening text messages in an attempt to dissuade her from running for re-election.
The threats were made in December 2019, just days before the deadline for prospective Texas candidates to file for the 2020 election.
Jones’s conviction was revealed on Friday, following a three-day trial.
Jones faced up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine according to the crime’s classification as a Class A misdemeanor. Instead, the court placed him on one year of probation and ordered him to perform 30 hours of community service and a seminar on making “good decisions.”
1/2Political consultant Damien Jones was convicted Friday for a failed scheme intended to affect the outcome of the race for Texas House of Representatives District 132 during the 2020 election cycle, HCDA Kim Ogg announced. #PublicSafety
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— Harris County DA (@HarrisCountyDAO) October 7, 2022
Calanni reported Jones’s threatening messages to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which conducted an investigation in collaboration with the Public Corruption Division of the district attorney’s office.
In a statement, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg praised the verdict, stating, “At a time when threats against public servants are at an all-time high, it is critical to hold accountable those who would try to subvert the will of the people by coercing a state representative into dropping out of an election.”
Kimberly Smith and Michael Levine, both of the Public Corruption Division, prosecuted the case.
“This goes beyond just expressing your opinion. This was a threat,” Smith said. “This is a prime example of showing that no matter what your profession is, you are going to be held responsible for what you say and do.”
“This was a case of ambition that crossed the line into criminal conduct,” Levine said. “By trying to coerce a politician into resigning, he illegally sought to influence an election.”
This is not the only recent election-related controversy to occur in Harris County.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
Former county elections administrator Isabel Longoria resigned after the Texas primary in March. Longoria faced legal challenges after it was discovered her office had failed to count 10,000 mail-in ballots.
Longoria was appointed to her position by progressive Judge Lina Hidalgo. CONTINUE READING…