IssuesJudicialTaxes & SpendingAustin Judge Sentences Paxton Associate Nate Paul to Jail, Fines on Contempt of Court Charges, per Report

Attorney General Ken Paxton was accused of using his office to benefit Paul, a real estate developer sued for fraud.
March 6, 2023
Nate Paul, the real estate developer involved in misconduct allegations against Attorney General Ken Paxton, has been ordered to jail after Judge Jan Soifer found him in contempt of court, the Texas Tribune reported.

Soifer presides over the 345th Civil District Court in Travis County, where she ordered Paul to pay a $2 million judgment to the nonprofit Roy F. & Joann Cole Mitte Foundation for fraud.

The Tribune indicated staff attorney Elliot Beck told the parties in a letter that Paul had perjured himself by telling the court that he was unaware of financial transactions Soifer had forbad. Paul also failed to file monthly expense reports according to her orders, Beck reportedly said.

Paul had been ordered to pay a $2 million settlement to the Mitte Foundation, and the expense reports came with a ban on spending more than $25,000 at a time. He was accused of transferring nearly a million dollars to one of his companies and spending another six-figure sum to a party that had sued him.

The judge sentenced Paul to 10 days in the county jail to begin on March 15. Soifer also assessed a fine of $181,760 for both civil and criminal contempt.

The Texan Tumbler

While he and Paul deny wrongdoing, Paxton asked the Legislature to pay a multi-million dollar settlement with four individuals fired by Paxton after they accused him in 2020 of using the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to benefit Paul and his companies.

Four of the employees who were fired after reporting their suspicions of bribery and abuse of office to the federal government sued Paxton under the Texas Whistleblower Act, which he says does not apply in his case.

The OAG requested that the Texas Supreme Court delay proceedings in the case while settlement negotiations continued. The $3.3 million settlement followed a decision by an appeals court that Paxton could be sued under the law.

Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) said he believed the settlement would be an improper use of taxpayer funds.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."