Colyandro dismissed from ex-candidates’ lawsuit

There’s so many lawsuits and investigations relating to TRMPAC’s activities from 2002 that it’s sometimes hard to keep track. John Colyandro, the indicted former executive director of TRMPAC, now has one less lawsuit to worry about.

On Tuesday, a federal judge dismissed him from a lawsuit filed by two losing candidates alleging that Colyandro and the Law Enforcement Alliance of America violated the Texas Election Code by using corporate funds to influence contests for Texas attorney general and an East Texas legislative race.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said the losing Democrats, Kirk Watson and Mike Head, “failed to allege any facts that Colyandro intentionally or even knowingly violated the applicable sections of the Texas Election Code.”

Buck Wood, who represents Watson and Head, had argued that Colyandro, executive director of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay’s Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee, coordinated with the law enforcement group to use $1.5 million in corporate contributions to run ads favoring Republican candidates. Texas law bans corporate donations to political candidates.

Wood said the suit will proceed against the Virginia-based law enforcement group which ran ads criticizing Watson for being a personal injury lawyer and praising Republican Greg Abbott as a respected Supreme Court justice. Abbott won.

The AP wire story has more information. Watson and Head filed this suit last September. Obviously, it has not get gone to trial, but it does help illustrate the concept of the wheels of justice grinding slowly.

In other TRMPAC news, Texans for Public Justice has joined in with State Rep. Pete Gallego in calling for former TRMPAC treasurer Bill Ceverha to step down from the board of the Employee Retirement System of Texas.

“Those overseeing the pensions of Texas public servants should have the highest personal and financial integrity,” said Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald. “Bill Ceverha does not meet these standards after his recent declarations of moral and financial bankruptcy. Mr. Ceverha’s participation in the 2002 Texas election scandal ought to disqualify him from public service—especially from a position that owes a fiduciary duty to retired state employees.”

Ceverha yesterday complained that Gallego’s statement was a political attack meant to embarrass him. I doubt he’s feeling the love any more today.

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