Paxton Cuts Deal, Charges Dropped

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton | Image by Marjorie Kamys Cotera/The Texas Tribune

Attorney General Ken Paxton agreed to a deal on Tuesday that will result in security fraud charges being dropped.

Paxton will no longer be facing felony charges and instead will pay restitution, perform community service, and take legal ethics classes, according to CBS News Texas.

Over the next 18 months, Paxton will be required to pay more than $270,000 in restitution to the apparent victims related to the state securities fraud charges.

Under this deal, Paxton is also required to perform 100 hours of community service and take 15 hours of legal ethics classes. He will also have to check in with prosecutors virtually every 60 days.

Paxton said he and his family are “relieved to finally have a resolution” to a matter that has caused them “ongoing stress” for roughly a decade, as reported by The Texas Tribune.

“There will never be a conviction in this case nor am I guilty,” Paxton said in a statement Tuesday, according to The Texas Tribune. He described the case as a “political prosecution.”

Paxton was under indictment on one third-degree and two first-degree fraud charges since 2015 and was scheduled for a final pretrial hearing on March 20, ahead of an April 15 trial in Houston, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. The hearing was rescheduled for March 26 in Houston.

Paxton was accused of soliciting investors in a McKinney technology company more than a decade ago without disclosing that the firm was paying him to promote its stock. He was also charged with steering clients to a friend’s investment advising business without registering with the state securities board.

He was reprimanded and fined $1,000 by the Texas Securities Board in the spring of 2014 for reportedly soliciting investors without registering with the board, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The case was delayed by a number of disputes between Paxton’s attorneys and the special prosecutors handling the case. The disputes have included how much the prosecutors should be paid as well as where the trial should take place, as reported by the Tribune.

Brian Wice, a special prosecutor, and Paxton’s attorney, Dan Cogdell, have been working in recent weeks to resolve the charges before the April 15 trial date in the state District Court in Houston, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

In May 2023, the Texas House voted to impeach Paxton 121-23. The House filed 20 articles of impeachment claiming Paxton disregarded his political responsibilities and used his official powers to assist a political donor unlawfully.

During the trial that followed, Paxton was acquitted on 16 of the charges, and the other four were dismissed, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

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