Courts
4:23 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Texas Highest Criminal Court Will Take Up Political Corruption Case Involving Tom DeLay

The highest criminal court in the State of Texas has agreed to take up the political corruption case against former U.S. House Minority Leader Tom Delay. The decision comes after Delay was acquitted by a lower appellate court in September 2013.

The case against Delay, known to many as "The Hammer," has been making its way through the courts for the last 12 years. Delay was convicted in 2010 of money laundering for trying to influence Texas’ elections by funneling corporate money to various candidates.

But in 2013 the Texas Third Court of Appeals ruled that checks weren’t considered money and because there was no prior criminal act by Delay, he was acquitted. Houston attorney Brian Wice represents Delay and said he received a text about the Delay case while in court on a unrelated case.

"I felt the color drain from my face and I thought, 'I can’t drop an F-bomb in front of all these reporters,' " Wice said.

The original appeal was filed by the Texas Public Integrity Unit, which is operated by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Craig McDonald with Texans for Public Justice was the first group to file the criminal complaint against Delay in 2002 and said 2013’s acquittal was done for partisan reasons.

"It was two Republican judges and one Democratic judge -- that court threw out the conviction of the Republican minority leader of the House of Representatives and they did because he was a Republican," McDonald said.

Attorneys estimate the case will be heard early summer of this year.