Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement Monday afternoon that he would not be stepping down from his position amidst allegations of bribery and abuse of office.
“Despite the effort by rogue employees and their false allegations I will continue to seek justice in Texas and will not be resigning,” said Paxton.
Earlier today, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21), who worked as the first assistant attorney general under Paxton for the first 15 months of his tenure, called for Paxton’s resignation.
Last week, Paxton was accused by seven senior officials in his office of “violating federal and/or state law, including prohibitions relating to improper influence, abuse of office, bribery, and other potential criminal offenses.”
Jeff Mateer, who succeeded Roy in the position of first assistant attorney general and resigned from his position abruptly on Friday, was among those reporting Paxton of engaging in illegal activities.
Mateer reportedly texted Paxton on Thursday, notifying him of the allegations, in which he specified that the potential violations related to Paxton’s “relationship and activities with Nate Paul.”
Paul is the CEO of World Class Holdings, a multi-billion dollar real estate company based in Austin.
In 2018, Paul contributed $25,000 to Paxton’s campaign just days before the general election, according to financial statements filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.
World Class has been fraught with legal trouble in the past few years, though, and in August 2019, Paul’s mansion in Austin was raided by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Paxton said that his office was “referred a case from Travis county regarding allegations of crimes relating to the FBI, other government agencies and individuals.”
“Because employees from my office impeded the investigation and because I knew Nate Paul I ultimately decided to hire an outside independent prosecutor to make his own independent determination,” said Paxton.
After the accusations against Paxton were made public this weekend, the Office of the Attorney General released a statement criticizing the allegations.
“The complaint filed against Attorney General Paxton was done to impede an ongoing investigation into criminal wrongdoing by public officials including employees of this office. Making false claims is a very serious matter and we plan to investigate this to the fullest extent of the law,” stated the office.
On Monday, Paxton appointed attorney Brent Webster to fill the position left vacant by Mateer.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.