HOUSTON -- Representative Tom DeLay turned himself in at the sheriff's office yesterday and was fingerprinted, photographed, and released on $10,000 bail on conspiracy and money laundering charges.
Accompanied by his lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, the former House majority leader showed up about midday, appeared before a judge, and was gone in less than 30 minutes, sheriff's Lieutenant John Martin said.
''Now Ronnie Earle has the mugshot he wanted," DeGuerin said, referring to the Travis County district attorney who brought the charges. DeLay and his lawyer have accused the district attorney of trying to make headlines for himself.
The Texas Republican is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday in Austin. The charges forced DeLay to give up his House leadership post.
The defense later in the day asked Judge Bob Perkins to step aside and for the trial to be moved out of Travis County. Perkins has donated to causes and people opposed to DeLay, and his impartiality might be questioned, the motion said.
The motion listed 34 contributions from Perkins, which included donations to John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004; MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group; and national, state and local Democratic committees.
Earle said he would oppose the motion to move the trial, and criticized the request that the judge step aside.
The change-of-venue motion cited media attention and said Austin is ''one of the last enclaves of the Democratic Party in Texas."