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An "ecstatic" Tom DeLay dances away scot free after all: Conviction overturned, no jail time

Tom DeLay smiling and wearing a suit 2011 photo
DeLay is cleared of all charges related to a scheme to funnel corporate funds to Texas politicians. (File photo) Photo by © Ben Sklar/Getty Images

The Third Court of Appeals in Austin overturned the conviction of one-time U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was found guilty for his involvement in a financial scheme to influence Texas elections, on Thursday.

The 66-year-old DeLay was handed a three-year prison sentence in 2010 for illegally funneling nearly $200,000 in corporate donations to Republican candidates for state legislature — a gross violation of Texas campaign laws. But he avoided jail time as his appeal case traveled through the court system.

Public court documents indicate that all judgments against the former congressman have been reversed, with the appeals court ruling that the evidence presented was "legally insufficient."

"He's ecstatic. He's gratified," DeLay's Houston attorney Brian Wice told the Associated Press. "He's just a little bit numb. I'm hoping with today's victory, he will be able to resume his life as he once knew it."

Since resigning from Congress in 2005, DeLay has kept himself in the limelight with a bestselling political memoir, No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight, as well as a memorable stint on season nine of Dancing with the Stars.

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