Judge grants new trial for Richardson's former mayor and Palisades developer husband

The Palisades development in Richardson houses multifamily apartments and office buildings.

The Palisades development in Richardson houses multifamily apartments and office buildings.

Richardson's former mayor and her developer husband have been granted a new criminal trial after a federal judge determined that the jury's votes to convict may have been influenced by a court officer.

A new trial has been set for July 8. Laura Jordan, known during her mayoral term as Laura Maczka, and her husband, Mark Jordan, were convicted in March on charges of bribery and wire fraud related to the approval of the controversial 79-acre Palisades development. The partially built development is located in Richardson at US 75 and Palisades Boulevard.

Both face up to $250,000 in fines and up to 20 years in prison if convicted in the new trial.

According to court documents, a court officer had conversations with one and possibly two jurors about their reluctance and emotional distress related to the Jordans' possible conviction. The court officer advised them to disregard their emotions as well as any potential punishments should the couple be convicted. The jury had been deadlocked after more than a day of deliberations, according to court documents. But after the conversations with the court officer, the jury "rendered guilty verdicts 30-45 minutes later," the documents show.

U.S. District Court Judge Amos L. Mazzant concluded in a 22-page report that the Jordans were denied their Constitutional right to a fair trial.

"The risk that the officer's comments meaningfully contaminated jury deliberations appears to be quite serious," he wrote.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


Halfway through 2021, Richardson is slowly recovering from a pandemic-driven dip in sales tax revenue seen in 2020. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Richardson sales tax collections increase by 30% in June, part of an upward trend

So far this year, Richardson has collected $22.6 million in sales tax, which is up from the $21.3 million recorded at the same time last year, according to data from the state comptroller.

Texas Central has signed a $16 billion contract with Webuild to lead the civil construction team that will build the train. (Rendering courtesy Texas Central)
Texas Central signs $16B construction contract for high-speed rail project

Texas Central could be one step closer to starting construction.

Richardson ISD board approves construction plan for 107-year-old administration building

The Richardson ISD board of trustees approved a guaranteed maximum price of just under $1.4 million for planned renovations of the district’s administration building during its June 7 meeting.

Reverie Bakeshop moving to new location in Richardson

The bakery offers a variety of vegan cakes and pastries as well as gluten-free options and more.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a call for Texans to conserve energy June 14. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy with generation outages 2.5 times higher than normal

"This is unusual for this early in the summer season," said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a news release.

Dutch Bros Coffee expects to open later this year in Richardson. (Courtesy Dutch Bros Coffee)
Dutch Bros Coffee coming to Richardson; Plano parks earn high marks and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Dutch Bros Coffee expects to open this summer in Plano. (Courtesy Dutch Bros Coffee)
Dutch Bros Coffee coming to Plano; The Pop Parlour opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Two coffee drinks.
Dutch Bros Coffee to continue North Texas expansion with Richardson location

A special permit to allow the coffee shop near the southwest corner of West Arapaho Road and West Shore Drive was approved by Richardson City Council in March.

Forno Pizzeria and Grill now open in Richardson for pickup or delivery

In addition to a variety of specialty pizzas, the eatery's menu includes salads, sandwiches, pasta and more.

Student in front of a computer.
Richardson ISD exploring options for virtual academy despite lack of state funding

Richardson ISD staff are exploring the financial possibility of moving forward with a virtual academy option without full state funding for students who enroll.

Child in front of a computer screen.
Plano ISD suspends plan for permanent online learning option due to lack of state funding

Students who have already completed the preliminary registration process for the planned virtual academy will now resume enrollment at their home campuses.