Criminal Justice

Unlike other suspects, Texas AG appears in his booking photo in a business suit

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Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Image from Collin County.

Charged Monday with violating securities laws, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was photographed in his mug shot wearing a dark business suit and a red patterned necktie.

That took observers familiar with state criminal practices by surprise, since prisoners in jail booking photos in Collin County routinely appear with a gray towel draped around their shoulders, reports the Dallas Morning News. The uniform background helps law enforcement present photo arrays to victims in which no one’s clothing stands out.

Lt. Chris Havey said Tarrant County District Judge George Gallagher gave a verbal order to the Collin County sheriff not to use a towel for Paxton. “His attorney probably asked for that,” Havey told the newspaper.

Gallagher’s office and Paxton’s attorney could not immediately be reached by the Morning News for comment.

Attorney Joe Kendall, a former federal judge, told the New York Times (reg. req.) in a written statement that his client would plead not guilty, demand a trial by jury and is “looking forward to the opportunity to tell his side of the story in the courtroom.” Meanwhile, Paxton will return to Austin “to focus on his work on behalf of the citizens of Texas.”

Paxton ran for attorney general in 2014 as a Republican. He has served in both the Texas House of Representatives and in the state senate.

Gallagher has limited comments in the case.

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