Fourth company agrees to help DeLay PAC probeProsecutors drop charges against Questerra Corp.
By April Castro, Associated Press
April 27, 2005
AUSTIN _ Prosecutors have dropped charges against Questerra Corp., one of eight companies indicted last September in connection with contributions to the Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee.
The dismissal leaves four companies and three associates of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay facing an ongoing Travis County grand jury probe into campaign spending in the 2002 Texas legislative races.
DeLay, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, formed the political action committee.
Questerra was accused of making a $25,000 contribution to TRMPAC. According to the dismissal, filed April 15, Questerra agreed to cooperate with the prosecution and investigation of the case.
The California-based company also agreed to "not make any illegal corporate political contributions in the state of Texas or any other state" and to financially support the "non-partisan, balanced and publicly informative" LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Cracker Barrel; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; and Diversified Collections Services Inc. have reached similar dismissal agreements with the office of Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle.
Using corporate money for campaigns is illegal in Texas.
The three people indicted in the Travis County case in September are DeLay lieutenants James Ellis, Warren RoBold and John Colyandro, all connected to Texans for a Republican Majority.
Ellis and Colyandro were charged with money laundering, Colyandro and RoBold with unlawful acceptance of corporate political contributions.
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.