Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is part of a new securities fraud dispute, this time with two former business partners.
Dallas Morning News investigative reporter Lauren McGaughy tells Texas Standard that the dispute goes back six years, when Paxton had accused those same partners – Byron Cook and Joel Hochberg – of financial wrongdoing. Now, they’re accusing him, instead, of the same thing.
McGaughy says this latest legal entanglement could put Paxton’s job in jeopardy when he runs for reelection in 2022. Paxton is a Republican.
“If any other shoes drop on the FBI investigation or this issue, it will make him more vulnerable, politically, to a challenge from his own party,” she said.
More importantly, it casts more doubt on Paxton fitness to be the state’s top law enforcement officer.
“I think the reason why we we believe that this was a story is not only is Paxton one of our top elected officials, he’s already facing several other legal battles right now,” McGaughy said.
Highlights from this segment:
– Paxton is also under investigation by the FBI for allegedly using his political office to illegally help a campaign donor; he was indicted six years ago for alleged securities fraud; and faces a whistleblower lawsuit after two aides who spoke out against him were fired.
– Paxton doesn’t face any criminal charges at the moment. However, his ex-business partners want him to be held as “responsible third party” in the securities fraud dispute. For him to face any repercussions, McGaughy says a judge and jury would have to find him responsible in the dispute.
– Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, a Republican, has hinted about running against Paxton in 2022.