DeLay corruption conviction tossed

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas appeals court tossed the criminal conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on Thursday, saying there was insufficient evidence for a jury in 2010 to have found him guilty of illegally funneling money to Republican candidates.

DeLay was found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for helping illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. He was sentenced to three years in prison, but his sentence was on hold while his case made its way through the appellate process.

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals said the evidence was “legally insufficient,” and in a 2-1 ruling decided to “reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal.”

DeLay’s attorney, Brian Wice, told The Associated Press that DeLay felt validated by Thursday’s ruling.

“He’s ecstatic. He’s gratified. He’s just a little bit numb,” Wice said. “I’m hoping with today’s victory, he will be able to resume his life as he once knew it.”

Wice said the state could appeal to the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court. Wice said he was confident DeLay would win again if necessary.

A jury in Austin had determined that DeLay conspired with two associates, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, to use his Texas-based political action committee to send a check for $190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee. The RNC then sent the same amount to seven Texas House candidates. Under state law, corporate money cannot be given directly to political campaigns.

Prosecutors said the money helped the GOP take control of the Texas House, enabling them to push through a DeLay-engineered congressional redistricting plan that sent more Republicans to Congress in 2004, strengthening his political power.

But in a 22-page opinion, the appeals court said prosecutors “failed in its burden to prove that the funds that were delivered to the seven candidates were ever tainted.”

Gregg Cox, the Travis County prosecutor whose office convicted DeLay, did not immediately return a phone message Thursday.

More in Local News

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Man on ferry accuses child of theft, allegedly pulls knife

The man was arrested, no one was hurt, and the ferry was delayed 30 minutes on its way to Mukilteo.

State is close but still not compliant in school-funding case

Lawmakers must act during the next legislative session to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

Dems say GOP tax plan doesn’t add up for everyone

Rep. Suzan DelBene’s amendments to restore deductions, which the bill does away with, were rejected.

Most Read