WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom DeLay (search) will likely be booked in a Texas county jail this week despite attempts by his attorneys to bypass the fingerprinting and mug shot process.
The former House majority leader was forced to step down from the post last month when he was indicted by a Texas grand jury. DeLay initially was charged with conspiracy to violate the election code and days later was indicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money in an alleged illegal scheme to funnel corporate money to Republican Texas legislative candidates.
DeLay's arraignment is set for Friday before state district Judge Bob Perkins (search) in Travis County, Texas.
"Perkins believes that if God was charged with a felony, he would have to go through the booking process, too," said D'Ann Underwood, court coordinator for the judge.
Before Friday, DeLay, a Republican from Sugar Land, Texas, will likely spend about an hour being fingerprinted and photographed, she said. He'll also be required to state his attorneys for the record.
Travis County allows some defendants to do a "walkthrough" booking process, in which the defendant is photographed and fingerprinted. But DeLay's bond amount would be preset so he could immediately pay it and avoid a stay in jail.
DeLay also could waive going before a magistrate to have his rights and charges read to him.
At Friday's court appearance, Perkins has the discretion to rule on motions to dismiss the charges, as requested by defense attorneys, but may elect to do so at a later date. The hearing will likely take less than 20 minutes, Underwood said.