State District Judge Bob Perkins today said he believes two officials with Texans for a Republican Majority should stand trial on felony charges of money laundering.
The judge ruled that the state election code is constitutional and said he disagreed with arguments that the money-laundering charges had to refer to "cash" instead of a $190,000 check that the pair is accused laundering during the 2002 legislative elections.
Perkins, a Democrat who must run for office, referred to his own fundraisers: "All the funds I ever received were checks. In my opinion, funds would include checks."
The follow-up hearings are required because a Travis County grand jury last week re-indicted the pair on the money laundering charges after the defense objected that the original indictment referred to a check instead of cash. The defense lawyers contend the state's money-laundering statute refers only to cash transactions.
It is the second time in as many months that a judge has found the state law constitutional, but the first time a defendant has been ordered to face trial on criminal charges arising from the use of corporate contributions during the 2002 legislative elections.