A Travis County grand jury, on its first day of work, indicted U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, on a new felony count of money laundering and another of conspiracy. That's not in addition to the charge leveled last week, but in replacement of it. The law cited in last week's indictment took effect a year after the 2002 elections -- a year after the alleged conspiracy DeLay was accused of assisting. DeLay's lawyers noticed and filed papers demanding that the charge be dropped. It has been dropped, but DeLay was reindicted on a money laundering charge and a different conspiracy charge stemming from the same events. Prosecutors have zeroed in on a series of transactions where the Texans for a Republican Majority PAC gave $190,000 to the national Republican Party and the GOP gave campaign contributions to seven Texas House candidates. They contend the money from TRMPAC was comprised of corporate funds and that the GOP sent back money from individual contributions, effectively converting corporate money -- which can't be used legally in Texas campaigns -- into money that was legal. Two DeLay associates -- John Colyandro of Austin and Jim Ellis of Washington, D.C. -- were in the same boat, having an indictment dropped and a new one added. DeLay, according to the indictment, had waived his protection under the statute of limitations (though there is some question as to whether he withdrew that waiver before the new indictments were issued). The statute limits indictments to three years (in this case) after the alleged events took place. The check to the Republican National State Elections Committee was dated September 13, 2002; DeLay's latest indictment is dated October 3, 2005 -- three years and two weeks later. The checks from the RNSEC to the seven candidates were dated October 4, 2002 -- making the new indictment one day short of the third anniversary. According to prosecutors, money laundering is a first-degree felony punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and up to life in prison. The conspiracy charges apparently carry penalties of up to $20,000 and up to two years in prison. A copy of the new indictment can be snagged at this link: www.texasweekly.com/documents/TomDeLayMoneyLaunderingIndict.pdf.