A Texas House committee heard stunning testimony from investigators Wednesday over allegations of a yearslong pattern of misconduct and questionable actions by Attorney General Ken Paxton, the result of a probe the committee had secretly authorized in March.
In painstaking and methodical detail in a rare public forum, four investigators for the House General Investigating Committee testified that they believe Paxton broke numerous state laws, misspent office funds and misused his power to benefit a friend and political donor.
Their inquiry focused first on a proposed $3.3 million agreement to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by four high-ranking deputies who were fired after accusing Paxton of accepting bribes and other misconduct.
Committee Chair Andrew Murr said the payout, which the Legislature would have to authorize, would also prevent a trial at which evidence of Paxton’s alleged misdeeds would be presented publicly. Committee members questioned, in essence, if lawmakers were being asked to participate in a cover-up.
In this case, it could recommend the House censure or impeach Paxton — a new threat to an attorney general who has for years survived scandals and been reelected twice despite securities fraud charges in 2015 and news of a federal investigation into the whistleblowers’ claims in 2020.
Erin Epley, lead counsel for the investigating committee, said the inquiry also delved into the whistleblowers’ allegations by conducting multiple interviews with employees of Paxton’s agency — many of whom expressed fears of retaliation by Paxton if their testimony were to be revealed — as well as the whistleblowers and others with pertinent information.
Long article with just some of the dirt on Paxton.https://www.texastribune.org/2023/05/24 ... ion-texas/Minutes into the hearing, Paxton called into a Dallas radio show and blasted the investigation as unprecedented. As for the settlement, Paxton told host Mark Davis that his office always knew it would be the Legislature’s decision whether to authorize taxpayer money for it, adding that he was shocked the Republican-controlled House has not.
Maybe Paxton will file a lawsuit in Federal Court where his batting average is close to zero hits and wins.
BTW he is still under indictment for securities fraud in Collin County.