And we now have two ex-DeLay staffers pleading guilty to felony charges.
Tony Rudy, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, will plead guilty today to one count in connection with the ongoing federal investigation of the activities of disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to law enforcement officials.
The plea from Rudy, who served as DeLay’s deputy chief of staff, comes two days after Abramoff was sentenced to 70 months in prison for fraud in connection with the purchase of a casino-boat company in Miami.
The details of Rudy’s plea were not yet available.
Former DeLay spokesman Michael Scanlon, who was an Abramoff business partner, has also pleaded guilty to fraud charges in that case.
DeLay has denied knowledge of his former employees’ activities. DeLay attorney Richard Cullen has said that the Justice Department has not approached the lawmaker seeking information or cooperation.
I’ll say this again: There’s been a lot of baying and yapping in some blogs here over the activities of former Mayor Pro Tem Carol Alvarado’s staff, and how she should have known about their improper activities (as no one has yet been charged with a crime, it’s premature to call anything “illegal” in this situation). If Alvarado should have known what kind of shenanigans her staff was up to, and if she should be held responsible in some way for not exerting more control over them – just so we’re all clear here, I agree that she should have known and that she bears responsibility for not knowing – then shouldn’t the same standard be applied to Tom DeLay and his felonious employees? For some strange reason, I’ve not seen nearly as much electronic ink expended on that topic. I wonder why that is.
UPDATE: Turns out that this story was first reported by Jason Leopold in The Raw Story back in January. You would not know that from the WSJ piece. I have to agree with Jason and with Jeralyn that it was wrong on the WSJ’s part to not acknowledge Jason’s earlier work.