CBSN

Indictments In Tom DeLay PAC Probe

Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas leaves a meeting with other Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, Nov. 14, 2001. Soon to take over the House majority leader's office, DeLay is moving up to a position where his hard-nosed, play-to-win persona that earned him the moniker "The Hammer" may not fit the job title.
AP
Three consultants to a political action committee formed by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay have been indicted by a Texas grand jury and charged with making illegal campaign contributions.

Also charged were eight corporate donors, including Sears and Cracker Barrel.

DeLay, a Texas Republican, was not charged.

The grand jury has been investigating whether $2.5 million in corporate funds were used illegally to help Republican candidates win elections in 2002 that gave the GOP a majority in the Texas House for the first time since Reconstruction. The GOP later used its majority to redraw Texas' congressional districts to favor Republican candidates.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that those charged include John Colyandro, the executive director of DeLay's PAC, Texans for a Republican Majority; James Ellis, a key aide to DeLay; and Warren Robold, aWashington, D.C., fund-raiser.

Ellis was charged with money laundering. Colyandro and RoBold were charged with unlawful acceptance of corporate political contributions. The eight companies were charged with making illegal political contributions.

DeLay was not questioned or subpoenaed as part of the grand jury investigation.

Calls to the defendants or their lawyers were not immediately returned.