1813News has learned that Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens is back under felony indictment.
The First Court of Appeals today (Thursday July 9th) remanded a felony campaign finance charge against Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens BACK to the trial court.
In reversing the earlier decision of the Chambers County court, the 1st Circuit has dealt a severe legal blow to the sitting sheriff. It means Stephens, who became the first African American female sheriff in Texas history, is still under an active indictment as she goes into campaign season.
Stephens was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record, and two misdemeanor counts of accepting campaign money in excess of $100.
Investigators said she knowingly changed dollar values on campaign finance forms. Stephens said it was an error that was unintentional.
In February of 2019 a judge threw out the charges, but the Texas Attorney General’s Office appealed to the 9th Circuit. Contacted tonight by 1813News, Stephens declined comment saying simply that, “I cant make a comment because I haven’t read anything or talked to my attorneys.”
A person convicted on a state jail felony may not serve as a Texas sheriff, and could get up to 2 years in jail if convicted.