Paxton takes over as attorney general after more than a decade in the Texas legislature. In his hometown near Dallas, he is indicted by a grand jury on securities crimes and accused of deceiving investors in a tech startup. He pleads not guilty to two counts, but there were still others no process. Paxton opens a legal defense fund and accepts $100,000 by an executive whose company was being investigated by his office for Medicaid fraud. An Arizona retiree donates $50,000 to the fund, and Paxton later hires the donor’s son for a high-level job that ends with his firing after the man showed child pornography in a meeting.
Several of Paxton’s top employees have expressed concerns to the FBI that the Attorney General is abusing his office’s powers to help wealthy Austin donor and real estate developer Nate Paul with a troubled real estate empire. The The FBI launches an investigation and searched Paul’s home, but he was not charged. Paxton and his attorneys have denied wrongdoing. Paxton, who is married to a state senator and has made a name for himself nationally as an advocate of conservative Christian legal issues, tells staff that he had an affair with a woman who, as it turned out later, worked for Paul. In a statement, Paul says he hired the woman on Paxton’s recommendation. The eight employees who reported Paxton to the FBI will be fired or fired, and four will later sue under the Texas whistleblower law.
The Committee’s Investigation accuses Paxton of having committed multiple crimes in office – including criminal offences. The allegations include a myriad of allegations related to his dealings with Paul, including alleged attempts to interfere in foreclosure proceedings, improperly providing legal opinions on Paul’s behalf, and firing, harassing, and harassing employees who reported the operations. The bribery allegations stem from the fact that Paul allegedly hired the woman Paxton was having an affair with in exchange for legal counsel and that Paul allegedly paid for expensive renovations to Paxton’s home. Paxton broadly denies any wrongdoing. The committee ended Wednesday’s hearing without responding to the findings and without saying whether a recommendation to impeach or censure Paxton was possible.
The committee, by a unanimous vote, recommends that the state’s chief attorney be appointed charged with 20 articles including bribery, professional disqualification and abuse of the public trust.
The House Committee said it was Paxton’s own request for state funds to settle the whistleblower lawsuit that led to the impeachment recommendation. The $3.3 million payout is subject to House approval, and Republican Speaker Dade Phelan has said he doesn’t think taxpayers should foot the bill. Paxton calls on his supporters to protest if the entire House of Representatives begins impeachment proceedings against him. He called the impeachment trial “political theater” that “will cause lasting damage to the Texas House of Representatives,” adding to his previous claims that it was an attempt to disfranchise the voters who restored him to office in November .
The 149-member Texas House of Representatives votes to indict Paxton. In Texas, an indicted official is automatically suspended from office pending a Senate trial.
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