BEAUMONT (AP) — Authorities say the first black woman elected sheriff in Texas and two other candidates for the post were indicted for criminal violations for fraud related to campaign contributions.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday that a grand jury in Chambers County issued the indictments.
Paxton said Zena Stephens, elected Jefferson County sheriff in 2016, was indicted on one felony count of tampering with a government record. The indictment says she reported at $5,000 cash contribution in the section for contributions of $50 or less.
She was also indicted on two misdemeanor counts of accepting cash contributions exceeding $100.
Stephens tells Beaumont television station KFDM that nothing was done intentionally and she’s innocent.
The two other candidates were indicted on misdemeanors.