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Published: Monday, 10/17/2005

DeLay rejected misdemeanor deal before felony indictment, attorney says

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON A Texas prosecutor tried to persuade Rep. Tom DeLay to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and save his job as majority leader but DeLay refused, the congressman s attorney said today.

Dick DeGuerin described such an effort in a letter to the prosecutor in the case, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle.

DeLay has been indicted on conspiracy and money laundering charges in a Texas campaign finance investigation, both felonies.

He was obligated to step aside under House Republican rules.

Before the first indictment you tried to coerce a guilty plea from Tom DeLay for a misdemeanor, stating the alternative was indictment for a felony which would require his stepping down as majority leader of the United States House of Representatives, DeGuerin wrote.

He turned you down flat so you had him indicted, in spite of advice from others in your office that Tom DeLay had not committed any crime, the lawyer contended. In short, neither lack of evidence nor lack of law has deterred you.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.



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