WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom DeLay (search) failed to comply with House requirements that he disclose all contributions to a defense fund that pays his legal bills, the Texas Republican acknowledged to House officials.
He wrote officials that $20,850 contributed in 2000 and 2001 was not reported anywhere. Another $17,300 was included in the defense fund's quarterly report but not in DeLay's 2000 annual financial disclosure report — a separate requirement. Other donations were understated as totaling $2,800, when the figure should have been $4,450.
It was during that period that DeLay was the subject of several House ethics investigations.
DeLay, R-Texas, stepped aside as House majority leader (search) — at least temporarily — after he was indicted on a felony charge Sept. 28 in a Texas campaign fund-raising investigation. He has since been charged a second time in the same case.
On Oct. 13 DeLay wrote the clerk of the House, Jeff Trandahl, that his first inkling of inconsistencies in his disclosures came last February.
"I brought this matter — which I discovered on my own — to the attention of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to alert the chairman and ranking member," DeLay said in his letter.
"Upon learning of these accounting irregularities, I immediately requested that the trust undergo a full and complete audit from its June 2000 inception through 2004 to determine if any additional accountancy problems existed with the trust."
The audit confirmed the unreported donations and the other errors, DeLay said.