Immigration & BorderIssuesJudicialStatewide NewsLawsuit Against Paxton by ‘Whistleblowers’ Could Be Headed For Settlement, per Report

The attorney general has spent much of his administration suing President Biden over illegal immigration and the border crisis.
February 1, 2023
Attorney General Ken Paxton is entering into settlement negotiations with three out of four “whistleblowers” who accused him of misconduct and subsequently lost their jobs, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The newspaper indicated that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars defending Paxton. Court documents indicate the case could go to mediation on Wednesday.

The former employees in question accused Paxton of using the OAG to benefit his friend Nate Paul, a real estate developer. The Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating the OAG in 2020, though no federal charges have been handed up. Paxton has denied wrongdoing.

According to the complainants, Paxton tried to pressure an OAG employee to give special treatment to Paul’s open records requests after the businessman’s home and office were raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The attorney general was also accused of having an affair with a woman Paul later hired.

They said Paxton also used the OAG to go after Paul’s opponents and pressure opinions from the office that would be favorable to him.

The Texan Tumbler

While Paxton contended that he cannot be sued under the state’s Whistleblower Act, the Texas Third District Court of Appeals decided against him in October 2021. Paxton has since appealed that decision to the Texas Supreme Court.

In a separate case, state prosecutors brought securities fraud charges against Paxton in 2015, but that indictment has never gone to trial.

Paxton has spent much of his time confronting President Biden over illegal immigration and other aspects of the border crisis. He has filed nearly a dozen lawsuits against the federal government, alleging numerous violations of law.

The attorney general has also supported Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security measures under Operation Lone Star. In December, his office helped Kinney County Attorney Brent Smith secure a favorable decision from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) regarding “Operation Lone Star arrestees.”

According to the OAG, Smith sued after “illegal aliens filed habeas corpus applications” in Travis County “seeking to avoid justice for their criminal acts.” Instead, the CCA decided they must be tried in Kinney County. Paxton called the applications a “thinly-veiled attempt to grant widespread amnesty.”

During The Texan’s 88th Session Kickoff last week, Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) criticized Operation Lone Star for primarily resulting in arrests for suspected misdemeanors. He suggested the state is not getting its money’s worth after $4 billion in taxpayer spending on the operation.

Paxton overwhelmingly won reelection in November, defeating Democrat Rochelle Garza, who is now president of the Texas Civil Rights Project.


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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."