Skip to comments.Tom DeLay verdict overturned by Texas appellate court
Posted on 09/19/2013 8:01:47 AM PDT by Perdogg
A Texas Court of Appeals in Austin has overturned the conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, attorney Brian Wice told KVUE sister station KHOU 11 News.
(Excerpt) Read more at kvue.com ...
Delay is dirty but just about everyone in DC is dirty too. I who really like someone to explain to me how a man of modest means can go to DC and retire a multi millionaire without being dirty. Crony capitalism ubber allis.
An Austin appeals court on Thursday overturned the conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on charges related to a scheme to influence Texas elections.
The vote by the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin was 2-1. DeLay's three-year prison sentence has been on hold as his case has made its way through the appellate process.
Delay was convicted in 2010 of illegally channeling $190,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the Texas Legislature. State law prohibits corporate campaign contributions to local races. A jury in Austin found that DeLay's actions-collecting checks, moving the funds through a political action committee and distributing the donations to state candidates-violated state money-laundering statutes.
"Because we conclude that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's convictions, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal," the majority opinion by Justice Melissa Goodwin states. Justice David Gaultney concurred.
"The fundamental problem with the state's case was its failure to prove proceeds of criminal activity."
Chief Justice J. Woodfin Jones dissented, writing, "I disagree with the majority's opinion that there was legally insufficient evidence to support a jury finding that the corporate contributions at issue here were the proceeds of criminal activity."
The Travis County district attorney's office, which prosecuted the case against DeLay, issued a statement, saying it would seek a rehearing.
"We strongly disagree with the opinion of Judges Goodwin and Gaultney that the evidence was insufficient. We are concerned and disappointed that two judges substituted their assessment of the facts for that of 12 jurors who personally heard the testimony of over 40 witnesses over the course of several weeks and found that the evidence was sufficient and proved DeLay's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. We are preparing a response to this opinion and will ask the full Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to review the ruling."
DeLay, 66, a conservative Republican from the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, ran an exterminating business before being elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1978 and winning a seat in Congress in 1984. He rose rapidly through the House leadership and was elected majority leader in 2002. DeLay earned the nickname "the Hammer" for his fierce political tactics.
In 2005, a grand jury indicted DeLay on charges that he had conspired to violate campaign finance laws. DeLay reportedly sought donations to his political action committee from Enron and other corporations to help bankroll the redistricting of Texas to favor the election of more Republicans. DeLay denied the charges but resigned as majority leader.
The executive director of Texans for Public Justice, the group that filed the complaint that led to DeLay's indictment, suggested that the Republican judges who issued Thursday's ruling were influenced by politics.
"He (DeLay) was wrong on the law and wrong on the facts, but politics bailed him out," said TPJ's Craig McDonald. He said he hoped that the Travis County district attorney's office would appeal the ruling to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Two co-defendants in the case pleaded guilty and paid fines. John Colyandro, who ran Texans for a Republican Majority, pleaded guilty in 2012 to a misdemeanor charge of accepting illegal political contributions and received deferred adjudication, which means there will be no final conviction if he completes probation. He also was fined $8,000.
Jim Ellis, a DeLay staff member, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of making an illegal campaign contribution. He received four years' probation and a $10,000 fine. Ellis and Colyandro were accused of scheming to funnel illegal corporate contributions into state races.
Their political efforts produced a Republican majority in the Texas House, paving the way for a controversial mid-decade redistricting effort that helped win more congressional seats for the Republican Party from Texas.
Former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, who lost his office due to the controversial redistricting plan, reacted with disappointment.
"When people don't follow the rules, there needs to be some kind of recourse. There are any number of instances in which DeLay didn't follow the rules with regard to the politics of our country," said Lampson, who, ironically, won the seat left open by DeLay's resignation in 2006. He was defeated two years later.
"He brought significant change in the politics of our state and our country that has brought us to greater polarization and a crisis period with our Congress," said Lampson.
..prosecuting Ronnie Earle is a good idea—just like they should have Johnny Sutton...
Tom Delay is the poster child for dirty me me me, corny meism that rules DC today. He is not alone, most of DC plays the same game.
And then there's this . :)
That is good news, the original judge should be impeached
Yes but if he was never torn apart and beaten down, would never have gone on the stupid program
Call it a side affect from the beat down
And hanged, too.
Austin is the least conservative place in Texas bar none. There are plenty of places close to Austin that are really nice as far as scenery is concerned and MUCH more conservative values.
Austin is, shall we say, San Francisco and Berkley combined into one.
Good lord.... what a Shyster!!! Hahaha!!!
I was actually thinking he should run for governor.
Comments like yours is a reason why *I* am refusing to be led around by the phoney conservatives around here and other places.
Sainted Tom Delay? Did you even read that piece you referenced? I rather doubt it.
Don’t bother. Our side needs to learn........and learning is to give the infamous Pittsburgh salute to people who continue to bash those on our side.
I will take Tom Delay any day of any week. That good man was pushed out of office by the corrupt liberals. Don’t bother telling me that he wasn’t “conservative enough”. That liberal media driven narrative doesn’t fly anymore with me.
We need to learn a lesson here.
No, thats San Antonio under the Castro brothers.
Austin is more yuppie ideological liberal. Chicago has some of those but is more corrupt machine democrat.
San Fran or Berkley is a better comparison.
The Republican legislature drew the lines for themselves and Congress and they did fine AFAIK.
DA is a country wide office, magic markers can't help with that.
awesome! I heard Delay on Mark Levin. Loved hearing how he was willing to play hardball with the Dems. I think he should run for president. That would certainly make Pelosi/Reid heads explode.
I watched him on the replay of Hannity.
I’m so happy he was finally vindicated.
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