Helper gop Of Tom “Bug Man” Delay (Remember Delay?) Pleads Guilty #314


DeLay co-defendant Colyandro pleads guilty

It took five minutes for Capitol figure John Colyandro to end a decade-long saga that swept his boss, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, out of Congress and politics altogether.

Colyandro, the last individual with charges pending in the DeLay money-laundering case, pleaded guilty Friday to lesser charges of accepting illegal political contributions during the 2002 state legislative elections.

He received one-year deferred adjudication on two Class A misdemeanor charges, meaning there will be no final conviction on his record if he successfully completes unsupervised probation. He also was fined $8,000.

A decade ago, Colyandro ran the day-to-day activities at the Austin-based Texans for a Republican Majority, the DeLay political committee that swapped $190,000 of corporate money for an equal amount of legal campaign donations from an arm of the Republican National Committee.

State law forbids corporations from donating directly to political campaigns.

Some things haven’t changed. Colyandro remains a conservative player at the Capitol as executive director of the Texas Conservative Coalition, a group of state lawmakers.

…DeLay remains free on bail, pending his appeal of his three-year prison sentence and conviction on conspiracy and money-laundering charges.

A third co-defendant, Jim Ellis, DeLay’s right-hand political staffer in Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty in June to a felony charge of making an illegal campaign contribution. Ellis, who negotiated the $190,000 exchange, received four years of probation and was fined $10,000.

Seven of eight indicted corporations that donated money have settled their cases, mostly by cooperating with prosecutors, but charges are pending against Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, a nonprofit corporation made up of 14 of the nation’s largest nursing home chains at the time the investigation began.

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