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DeLay Does TV Mambo But Still In Legal Limbo

DeLay Does TV Mambo But Still In Legal Limbo

Dave Montgomery | The Fort Worth Star-Telegram via YellowBrix

September 23, 2009

AUSTIN — Like the other contestants on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” Tom DeLay hopes he wowed the judges this week with his cha-chas across the stage with professional dancing partner Cheryl Burke.

But the former U.S. House majority leader may be more concerned about the opinions of black-robed judges back in his home state as he continues to battle prosecutors in a 4-year-old legal tangle that shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

The state’s case against the once-powerful congressional figure and two political associates has droned through Texas courts since it began unfolding in 2005, with prosecutors and defense attorneys slugging it out in appeals and counter-appeals.

DeLay — still known by his nickname, “The Hammer” — has sought to rebound as a voice for conservative causes after the campaign finance scandal forced his resignation from Congress in June 2006. His legal antagonist, former Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, retired at the end of 2008 and is now considering running for governor as a Democrat.

But the prosecution against DeLay and co-defendants John Colyandro and Jim Ellis has continued under Earle’s Democratic successor, Rosemary Lehmberg.

DeLay’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin of Houston, says his client is “excited” and energized by being chosen to appear on the popular nationwide TV show. But the ongoing criminal case still hangs over him, said DeGuerin.

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