Texas Lawyer: DeLay Prosecution Less Simple with DeGuerin

by Last Night in Little Rock

Texas Lawyer published an article today, republished on Law.com, that Dick DeGuerin's entry into the DeLay case makes it far tougher for Ronnie Earle: DeLay Case Pits DA in Rematch Against Prominent Criminal Defense Lawyer.

The article discusses the dynamics between Earle's office and DeGuerin as defender in high-profile cases, keying on the 1994 prosecution of Kay Bailey Hutchinson, then the Texas state Treasurer, running for U.S. Senate. The Hutchinson case was dismissed on directed verdict.

The article also interviews lawyers who opine that the case appears thin.

In DeGuerin's view, politics motivated Earle in Hutchison's case and in DeLay's case. DeGuerin contended that Earle prosecuted Hutchison to destroy her chances of being the Republican senator from Texas and now is trying to destroy DeLay because of what DeLay has meant to Republican politics in Texas. In 2002, DeLay pushed to elect a Republican majority in the state House, enabling Texas Republicans in 2003 to draw new districts for U.S. House seats that favored GOP candidates.

. . .

The indictment against DeLay and the two political associates is short on specifics with regard to DeLay's alleged wrongdoing.

"The indictment provides no particulars at all regarding DeLay's role in the alleged conspiracy, so we are working with a blank slate," says Robert Davis, a partner in Hughes & Luce in Dallas, who also notes that state election laws are vague in many ways. He is not involved in the litigation.

"It looks mighty slim," Frank Reilly, an Austin attorney whose practice includes election law, says of the indictment. Reilly is not involved in the criminal prosecutions and does not represent any parties in the civil suits stemming from the alleged contribution of corporate funds to state legislative candidates.

"It is the most awkwardly worded indictment I've ever seen," says Woods, the Houston criminal defense lawyer, who notes that Hutchison's defense team obtained a dismissal of the indictment against her three times, because Earle's office failed to clearly state an offense in those indictments.

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