DCS to Have DeLay-Related Charges Dropped

A company accused in the campaign-finance investigation that has implicated associates of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (search) agreed to aid prosecutors in exchange for having charges against it dropped, court papers showed.

Under the deal, Diversified Collection Services will also develop internal policies to prevent any future violations of the Texas law against using corporate money for political purposes, according to a motion approved Thursday by a state judge.

The California-based company was accused of giving $50,000 to Texans for a Republican Majority, a GOP political action committee associated with DeLay, during the 2002 campaign. The election gave the party its first legislative majority since Reconstruction.

Seven other companies are accused of contributing a total of $140,000 to the PAC, and three DeLay associates have been indicted on allegations of money laundering and illegal acceptance of corporate political contributions.

Gregg Cox, director of the county district attorney's public integrity unit, called the plea deal with DCS "a major step forward in this case."

DCS, which has offices in San Angelo, provides repayment services for state and federal debt.