- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

WACO, Texas (AP) - A Central Texas county commissioner has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after a Texas Rangers investigation concluded he had offered to pay a 2015 primary opponent to drop out of the race.

McLennan County Commissioner Will Jones pleaded guilty Friday to offering a gift to a public servant and was sentenced to a year of deferred probation and 80 hours of community service. He also was fined $4,000 under the plea agreement with prosecutors.

Under state law, a political candidate is considered a public servant.

Jones said in January that he considered the offer to opponent Ben Matus a “simple business transaction” and not a bribe.

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