CBS 11 Header TXA 21 Header MeTV Header KRLD Header The Fan Header
TRAFFIC: A fatal accident has closed the SB lanes of Loop-820, at Ramey. | More  | Check Traffic And Find An Alternate Route

Politics

Ex-US House Leader Tom DeLay’s Conviction Overturned By Texas Court

View Comments

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

From Our CBS Music Web Sites

kluvs super 70s weekend voting 1979 dl Ex US House Leader Tom DeLays Conviction Overturned By Texas CourtPick The Best Song From 1979

115245513 8 Ex US House Leader Tom DeLays Conviction Overturned By Texas CourtCrush Of The Day: Mila Kunis

80219448 Ex US House Leader Tom DeLays Conviction Overturned By Texas CourtViral Video: Hilarious Southwest Safety Announcement

155742164 Ex US House Leader Tom DeLays Conviction Overturned By Texas CourtPick Your Favorite Victoria Secret Model

Featured Items

Fantasy_tileHottest Olympians

pet_tileYour Pet Photos

weather_tileSend Us Your Weather Photos

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A Texas appeals court overturned the money laundering conviction of former Republican U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on Thursday, saying there was insufficient evidence.

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 ruling that it decided to “reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal.”

The two Republican judges agreed with the argument that checks don’t constitute money.

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay leaves the Travis County Jail after being sentence to three years in prison with probation and posting $20,000 bail bond on January 10, 2011 in Austin, Texas. The one-time prominent Republican Delay was convicted of channeling $190,000 in corporate donations in 2002 through the Republican National Committee to Republican candidates for the Texas state legislature. Texas law prohibits corporations from giving directly to political campaigns.   (Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay leaves the Travis County Jail after being sentence to three years in prison with probation and posting $20,000 bail bond on January 10, 2011 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

DeLay was found guilty in November 2010 of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for helping illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison, but his sentence was on hold while his case made its way through the appellate process.

DeLay’s attorney, Brian Wice, said “you don’t need to be a legal scholar to see the penal code in 2002, when these events allegedly happened, didn’t encompass checks as the proceeds of criminal activity which is an element of any money laundering.”

Wisce also 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.”

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.

Read the court’s decision to overturn DeLay conviction (PDF)

(© Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report)

Latest News:

Top Trending:

View Comments