Criminal JusticeFederalIssuesLocal NewsTaxes & SpendingFormer Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka Jordan Sentenced to Six Years in Federal Prison for Bribery, Tax Fraud

The ex-mayor’s husband, Mark Jordan, received the same sentence after a jury convicted the couple of a bribery and tax evasion scheme.
August 5, 2022
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A federal judge sentenced former Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka Jordan, 57, to six years in prison after a jury convicted her last year on charges of bribery, tax fraud, conspiracy, and defrauding the U.S. government. Her husband, Mark Jordan, 55, was also convicted on each count and received a six-year prison sentence.

Laura Jordan was the first directly elected mayor of Richardson, a suburb of Dallas with a population of more than 119,000 residents. She held office from May 2013 until her resignation in April 2015.

The bribery resulted in charges from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) because the City of Richardson is an entity that receives federal funding.

In court documents on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant scolded the disgraced mayor for failing to uphold her oath of office.

“The people of Richardson, Texas elected Laura Maczka Jordan as mayor, entrusting her to serve with integrity and deliver on her promises,” Mazzant wrote. “But Laura Maczka Jordan abused her position of power, and Mark Jordan profited from it. This betrayal of the public trust was a crime punishable under the law. Neither Mark nor Laura Maczka Jordan is exempt from facing this punishment.”

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Mazzant wrote the scathing epilogue to the case as he denied several last-ditch efforts by the Jordans’ lawyers to spare them from prison.

Among other claims Mazzant rejected, the convicts argued that the federal government had engaged in “vindictive prosecution” by adding tax fraud charges to the indictment handed up in December 2020.

Mazzant explained that they were not included in the first trial because it would have taken too long for prosecutors to obtain the necessary go-ahead from the DOJ.

Their lawyers had also sought to overturn the convictions because federal agents mistakenly did not disclose recorded phone calls. However, Mazzant opined that the court discovered the error before it had a significant impact on the trial and the Jordans’ lawyers were still able to provide a fair defense.

The judge threw out the convictions from the Jordans’ first trial in 2019 because a court security officer had made improper comments to a juror that could have swayed the outcome. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his decision, resulting in a new indictment and a second trial last year.

While she was mayor and married to another man, Laura Jordan had an affair with Mark Jordan, a real estate developer, and voted in favor of changes to zoning regulations so he could construct apartment complexes near residential areas. She also voted to increase the number of apartments permitted, resulting in the construction of more than 1,000 units.

Laura Jordan and the city council approved Mark Jordan’s company to receive an Economic Development Incentive Agreement that included a $47 million reimbursement.

All of this was contrary to what Laura Jordan had promised during her campaign, which she based on her opposition to building additional apartments near neighborhoods. She won the election with 71 percent of the vote.

Prosecutors said that Mark Jordan, who was married to another woman at the time, offered Laura Jordan bribes including vacations, renovations on her home, luxury hotel stays, travel upgrades, and other benefits that totaled almost $132,000. The sexual relationship was also part of the government’s case against them.  

Evidence showed that Laura Jordan deposited the bribes in a bank account that she hid from her husband at the time.

Mark Jordan also offered Laura Jordan a job at his company, Sooner National Property Management, at a salary of $150,000, even though the person who previously held the position was more qualified and made $70,000, according to court documents.

Laura and Mark Jordan got married after the federal government began investigating them. Prosecutors alleged that the marriage was part of a defense strategy concocted before the pair were indicted by a grand jury in May 2018.

In a news release, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston commented on the sentences as a vindication of the public.

“When the greed of personal gain and benefit results from official actions taken on the pretense of altruistic motives, then the integrity of the whole process is corrupted,” Featherston said. “Jordan and Maczka have now been convicted by a jury of their peers and their punishment should reflect some measure of repair of that trust by the citizens of Richardson, Texas.”

Though the first jury convicted the Jordans on charges of honest services wire fraud and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, the second jury found them not guilty on those counts.

The defense contended that the relationship between Laura and Mark Jordan was motivated by romance and not by corrupt dealings.

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."