By Allan Lengel
Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay
The once powerful U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who had been under FBI investigation in connection with the Jack Abramoff scandal, but was never charged, was sentenced in state court Monday in Austin, Tex., to three years in prison for a scheme in which he illegally helped funnel corporate contributions to Republican Texas legislative candidates, the Associated Press reported.
AP reported that DeLay remained defiant to the end, denying wrongdoing. He was jailed for three hours before he posted a $10,000 bond. He will remain free pending an appeal that could potentially take years.
“Everything I did was covered by accountants and lawyers telling me what I had to do to stay within the law,” the ex-House majority leader said in court. “I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did.”
AP reported that Senior Judge Pat Priest disagreed with DeLay, saying those who write laws should be bound by them.
DeLay had been convicted in November of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money launder for using a political action committee to illegally send corporate donations to Texas House candidates in 2002, AP reported.
The FBI and Justice Department had investigated DeLay in connection with the Jack Abramoff scandal. DeLay was never charged, but two of his political aides pleaded guilty in the case.