If there a financial reason why State Sen. Carlos Uresti has refused to resign from the Senate?
Uresti (D-San Antonio) was convicted last week on eleven fraud counts relating to investors who were swindled by a phony fracking sand company called Fourwinds Logistics. And he faces a corruption trial in that same federal courtroom in May, charged with paying bribes to west Texas officials.
But Uresti said firmly following his conviction that he had no plans to step down.Since his conviction, prominent Republican and Democratic elected officials from the Senate Democratic Caucus to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, have called on Uresti to step down. He has been stripped of all of his committee seats, essentially leaving him powerless in the Senate, and a key Democratic Party consultant told News Radio 1200 WOAI that Uresti's remaining in office is a 'nightmare' for Texas Democrats heading into the critical midterm elections.
But the Texas Tribune reports that the reason Uresti is not stepping down may be cold hard cash.Despite his federal fraud convictions, and the likelihood of spending time in prison, the Tribune reports Uresti will still receive his Legislative pension, which is based on the number of months he serves at the Capitol.
So do the math...more months as a State Senator, more cash in Uresti's pocket. And Legislative pensions can reach as much as $140,000 a year.
While Uresti is prohibited, as a convicted felon, from running for re-election in 2020, he can conceivably remain in office until January of 2021, even if he is in prison. He cannot be forced to resign from the Senate. Conviction also does not strip him of his pension. Remember...the laws covering who gets Legislative pensions are written by members of the Legislature.
And the taxpayer funded pension benefits will keep adding up.