Employees Accuse Texas Attorney General of Criminal Offenses
On October 1, 2020, seven top aides of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter notifying their human resources director that they had contacted federal law enforcement authorities to request that their boss be investigated for potential crimes. The letter states that Paxton is being accused of bribery, abuse of office, and improper influence in his official capacity as the state’s highest-ranking lawyer. The letter did not provide any details of Paxton’s conduct that prompted the accusation, but it does claim that each aide “has knowledge of facts relevant to these potential offenses and has provided statements concerning those facts to the appropriate law enforcement.”
One of the letter’s signees is Jeff Mateer, the Attorney General’s first assistant, who resigned from his position on September 25, 2020. The other whistleblowers include Mateer’s deputy and five deputy attorneys general who oversee the divisions of civil litigation, policy, criminal investigations, administration, legal counsel, and civil litigation.
An October 3, 2020 statement from Attorney General Paxton’s office denied the accusations, asserting that they were made falsely to impede a criminal wrongdoing investigation that was already underway involving employees of his office.
Prior Legal Troubles for Paxton
Ken Paxton was first elected as Attorney General in 2014. He was arrested just months later in 2015 for three felony counts related to private business deals he made in 2011 and 2012 while holding a state legislator position.
Two first-degree securities fraud charges were the result of Paxton’s July 2011 attempts to sell stock on behalf of a privately held tech company, Servergy Inc. Indictments by a Collin County grand jury maintained that Paxton failed to notify stock buyers that he was compensated by Servergy with 100,000 shares of stock and that he claimed to have invested his own money in the McKinney-based company when he had not. These first-degree felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of 99 years, but numerous appeals have delayed the case. A trial date is yet to be set.
Paxton was also charged with a third-degree felony for failing to register with the Texas State Securities Board while he was soliciting investors for a North Texas financial services firm. This work was also omitted from the employment history section of his Texas Ethics Commission personal financial statements. The securities board reprimanded Paxton and fined him $1,000. He signed a disciplinary order without dispute.
Although his opponent focused on the indictments during the 2018 campaign, Paxton was re-elected for a second term. He continued to declare his innocence, calling the 2015 charges a political attack. He claims his actions were not illegal and that prosecutors stretched the definition of fraud beyond the intention of its meaning.
Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian Fights Federal Charges
A conviction for public corruption comes with legal ramifications, embarrassment, and a tarnished reputation. It is important to act quickly if you are under investigation for or charged with a federal crime. The experienced and highly respected attorneys at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian can provide the sound, trustworthy legal guidance you need to protect your future. Call us today at (972) 369-0577 to schedule a confidential consultation.