The Austin Chronicle

Counting the Felonies

By Michael King, October 1, 2004, News

The 32 felony indictments announced Sept. 21 by Travis Co. prosecutors charge three persons and eight corporations with various criminal counts of illegally contributing, soliciting, or accepting corporate campaign donations for the 2002 state legislative campaigns. Public Integrity Unit director Gregg Cox described this group of indictments reflecting "one portion of the overall investigation."

James Ellis (aide to Tom DeLay)Money launderingFirst-degree felony
John Colyandro (Executive director, TRMPAC)Money launderingFirst-degree felony
13 counts of accepting illegal contributionsThird-degree felony
Warren RoBold (DeLay fundraiser)9 counts of solicitation and accepting illegal contributionsThird-degree felony
Questerra Corp., Va.2 counts, illegal contribution ($50,000)Third-degree felony
Westar Energy, Kan.Illegal contribution ($25,000)Third-degree felony
Diversified Collection Services, Calif.Illegal contribution ($50,000)Third-degree felony
Sears, Roebuck, Ill.Illegal contribution ($25,000)Third-degree felony
The Williams Companies, Okla.Illegal contribution ($25,000)Third-degree felony
Bacardi U.S.A., Fla.Illegal contribution ($20,000)Third-degree felony
Cracker Barrel, Tenn.Illegal contribution ($25,000)Third-degree felony
Alliance for Quality Nursing Home CareIllegal contribution ($100,000)Third-degree felony

The 13 indictments against John Colyandro and the nine indictments against Warren RoBold involve the corporate contributions listed above, as well as contributions solicited and accepted from corporations not among the eight indicted, including the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway, Cornell Companies, Reliant Resources, AT&T, and El Paso Corp.

A first-degree felony is punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000, a third-degree felony by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A corporation convicted of a third-degree felony can be liable for a fine up to $20,000 or additional financial penalties.

Copyright © 2021 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.