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Jury Finds Sheriff Guilty in Bribery Trial

July 22, 1988 GMT

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) _ A jury today convicted a sheriff of offering his opponent in the Republican primary race a job to drop out.

A jury deliberated 2 1/4 hours over two days before finding suspended Denton County Sheriff Randy Kaisner, 33, guilty of bribery. The first-term sheriff faced up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine at sentencing later today.

Kaisner was accused of offering Kirby Robinson the job of chief deputy if he would drop out of the runoff made necessary after neither candidate received a majority in the primary March 8. Kaisner was seeking a second four- year term.

Jack Ehrhart, the sheriff’s former political adviser, said Kaisner directed him to meet with Robinson the day after the Super Tuesday primaries to persuade Robinson to withdraw.

Kaisner testified that he and Ehrhart talked about Robinson’s qualifications as a chief deputy, but he denied sending Ehrhart to meet with Robinson.

The sheriff said it was not until two days later that he learned that Ehrhart had made a job offer contingent on Robinson’s dropping out.