WASHINGTON — A Texas court threw out the money-laundering conviction of former House majority leader and ex-PCO Tom DeLay, saying prosecutors failed to prove that he broke the law in a fundraising scandal from the 2002 elections.
The Texas Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in an opinion by Justice Melissa Goodwin, said instead that "the evidence shows that the defendants were attempting to comply with the election code limitations on corporate contributions."
"The evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's convictions," the documents said. The judges said they "reverse the judgments of the trial court" and acquit DeLay, once one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress, of all charges.
DeLay, now 66, left Congress voluntarily in 2006 as he was facing a tough re-election fight. He served as majority leader, the House's No. 2 job and top lieutenant to the speaker, from 2003 to 2005. Prior to entering politics, DeLay owned Albo Pest Control, Houston, Texas. In a 1990 interview with PCT Publisher Dan Moreland, DeLay said serving on pest control associations provided an “excellent training ground” for entering national politics. “Pest control politics are a good starting point,” he said. “You learn to cover your bases. Those kinds of lessons are beneficial to being here in Congress.”
Additional source: USA Today