The former congressman was sentenced to three years in prison Monday (Jan. 10) for money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering and using a political action committee to funnel corporate money to candidates. It’s unlikely that he’ll actually serve time in the near future, though; the AP reports he’ll remain free while his lawyers appeal the conviction.
DeLay, who represented the Houston area for 11 terms in Congress and was House majority leader from 2003-05, was convicted by an Austin jury in November. They found that he conspired with two other people to send $190,000 in corporate donations to his PAC to an arm of the Republican National Committee. The committee then sent the same amount of money to candidates for the Texas legislature. Texas law bars direct corporate contributions to campaigns.
Delay has maintained his innocence throughout the case and says the prosecution was politically motivated. Before his sentencing he told the court, “I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did.”
The former congressman was indicted in late 2005, but the case didn’t come to trial until late last year.
Prior to his appearance on Season 9 of “DWTS” (he withdrew after three weeks because of stress fractures in his feet), DeLay waged a campaign to get people to vote for country singer Sara Evans, nothing that she was a reporter of Republican causes and “good American values.” That was before Evans and her husband went through a messy and public split during her time on the show, which led to her withdrawal.