The PJ Tatler

Texas Court Affirms Lower Court's Decision to Toss Out Tom DeLay Conviction

By an 8 to 1 vote, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has affirmed the 3rd District Court of Appeals’ overturning of former Rep. Tom DeLay’s conviction on money laundering charges.

DeLay was indicted by the Travis County District Attorney on criminal money laundering charges in 2005, and a Travis County jury convicted him in 2010. At the time, Rep. DeLay was the Republicans’ most effective campaign strategist and fundraiser in Congress. He resigned his seat in Congress in 2006 to allow a special election to replace him. Democrats would take control of the US House from the Republicans in 2006. 

DeLay appealed, and his conviction was overturned in 2013 by a three-judge panel of the Texas 3rd District Court of Criminal Appeals.

The Travis County DA’s office appealed that decision. Today’s ruling upholds the 2013 ruling, and Tom DeLay remains a free man. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest appellate court in Texas.

The lone dissenting vote in today’s ruling was cast Judge Larry Meyers. Meyers switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party in 2013 and is currently the Democratic nominee for Texas Supreme Court. Meyers ran into a little legal trouble of his own in 2012 for failing to pay a 2008 speeding ticket.

The same office that indicted and tried DeLay, the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, also indicted Gov. Rick Perry (R) this year. It is currently headed by District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, Democrat, who was caught and admitted to drunk driving in 2013. Lehmberg remains in office.