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File photo of Texas Capitol building. (Credit: Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company)

File photo of Texas Capitol building. (Credit: Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company)

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SAN ANTONIO (CBS Houston/AP) — An ex- Democratic leader in South Texas has been convicted of embezzling about $200,000 in party funds.

The penalty phase begins Tuesday afternoon in San Antonio for 56-year-old Dwayne Adams. A jury on Monday convicted the former Bexar County Democratic Party treasurer of theft and misapplication of fiduciary property.

Punishment ranges from probation to up to 20 years in prison for each felony conviction.

According to My San Antonio, defense attorney Richard Langlois spent hours cross-examining chairman Carla Vera, which he believes should be held accountable.

“We didn’t check the statements because we didn’t know Mr. Adams was stealing money,” Vela testified during occasionally heated exchanges, a source at My San Antonio stated.

Vera believes the only mistake that was made is the fact that she trusted someone within their organization.

A grand jury in September 2010 indicted Adams over alleged misuse of party funds raised for use in the 2008 primary. Adams resigned as party treasurer in late 2009 when the allegations surfaced.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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