Missed this on Friday.
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.
Despite Friday’s plea, Colyandro continues to face civil litigation arising from the 2002 election.
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.
Colyandro’s plea bargain includes a provision, similar to one offered to Ellis, that takes into account the possibility that the current state law might be challenged.
See here and here for the relevant bits on the criminal cases. I’ve no idea where any civil litigation stands at this point – honestly, I thought that had been resolved years ago, but I suppose there still could be something out there, or the potential for something in the future once the criminal stuff is all done. The only case still going is DeLay’s. It’s not the end of an era yet, but you can almost see it from here.