The Third Court of Appeals in Austin will hear the appeal of former U.S. House Majority Leader cum reality show contestant Tom DeLay, who was convicted of money laundering in 2010.
DeLay was found guilty by an Austin jury of conspiring to circumvent campaign finance laws and channel corporate donations to Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature in 2002. His conviction followed a 2005 indictment on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering alongside aides John Colyandro and Jim Ellis. DeLay resigned from his position in the House as a result. In 2009, he appeared as a contestant on the TV series "Dancing With the Stars."
DeLay has been out on bond, working to have his conviction overturned for the past two years. If his conviction is upheld, he faces a sentence of three years in prison and five years probation. As a convicted felon, he would also be ineligible to run for state-level political office in Texas and ineligible to vote until he completes his probation.
Three Republican justices on the Third Court of Appeals’ six-judge panel recused themselves from hearing DeLay’s case. Democratic Justice Diane Henson was replaced after DeLay argued that she would be biased against him. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson replaced Henson with Ninth Court of Appeals Justice David Gaultney. In all, two Republicans and one Democrat will hear DeLay’s case tomorrow.
DeLay’s attorney, Brian Wice, has stated that DeLay’s conviction was politically motivated.