Quantcast
Connect with us

Ken Paxton’s criminal trial has been pending for nearly four years: Here’s a timeline of his legal drama

Published

on

Since his criminal indictment in July 2015, the Texas attorney general has seen delay after delay in his case, including a side dispute over prosecutor pay that has derailed the prosecution for well over a year.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been under a legal cloud for years, awaiting trial on felony securities fraud charges. But since his criminal indictment in July 2015, Paxton has seen delay after delay in his case, including a side dispute over prosecutor pay that has derailed the prosecution for well over a year. With the charges dogging him, he narrowly won reelection in 2018.

ADVERTISEMENT

Check out our timeline below of the case’s twists and turns. We’ll update it with new stories from The Texas Tribune and other outlets as the legal battle proceeds.

Spring 2014

First signs of trouble

In April, during Paxton’s bid to become the Republican nominee for attorney general, The Texas Tribune obtains documents showing he was not registered with the state board while he was being paid to solicit clients for a North Texas financial services firm. Paxton’s campaign launches an internal review to determine whether he had broken any laws. Soon after, the Texas State Securities Board reprimands Paxton for soliciting investment clients without being registered. He is fined $1,000 and signs a disciplinary order without disputing its findings.

Spring – Summer 2015

Criminal case emerges

After Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis recuses himself from the investigation because he knows Paxton, a GOP judge appoints special prosecutors Brian Wice and Kent Schaffer and agrees to pay them $300 per hour. Prosecutors begin to build their case against Paxton, now sworn in as attorney general. News breaks that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Servergy, a McKinney tech firm Paxton had invested in. In July, Paxton is indicted by a Collin County grand jury. In late August, Paxton pleads not guilty.

ADVERTISEMENT

December 2015

Special prosecutor pay dispute begins

In December, Paxton donor Jeff Blackard sues, arguing that the county is paying the special prosecutors too much.

Early 2016

ADVERTISEMENT

Cost disputes continue

In February, the Texas Ethics Commission rules that Paxton may not accept out-of-state donations to fund his legal defense. Because the charges are unrelated to his public office, Paxton also cannot use campaign funds. Questions emerge about how he is funding his top-dollar legal defense.

Spring 2016

ADVERTISEMENT

Federal charges emerge

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission files civil charges against Paxton for allegedly misleading investors in a technology company. Paxton releases a video defending himself and calling the state’s prosecution political. In June, he fails to get the state’s criminal charges against him dismissed by an appeals court.

July 2016

Friends fund Paxton’s defense

Financial disclosure statements reveal that Paxton accepted more than $329,000 in gifts from wealthy donors and “family friends” to fund his legal defense. Paxton will maintain this strategy.

ADVERTISEMENT

January 2017

Trial set for May

After Paxton fails to get the state’s criminal charges against him dismissed, his trial is set for May 2017.

March 2017

Paxton cleared of SEC charges; state criminal trial moved, delayed

In Paxton’s biggest win yet, a federal judge throws out the federal securities fraud case against him.

ADVERTISEMENT

May 2017

Collin County stops halts prosecutors’ payments

The Collin County Commissioners Court votes to cease payments to the special prosecutors working on the Paxton case.

August 2017

Court voids payment to prosecutors

The Dallas Court of Appeals voids a six-figure payment to the special prosecutors, threatening the future of the case.

ADVERTISEMENT

October 2017

Trial delayed again

A new judge, Robert Johnson of Harris County, agrees to delay the trial for the third time as prosecutors argue they should not have to go to court before they collect a paycheck.

December 2017

With pay dispute pending, trial remains delayed

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court, agrees to hear the pay dispute. The long-delayed trial is put off indefinitelyas attorneys await a decision.

Fall-Winter 2018

ADVERTISEMENT

Paxton wins reelection; pay ruling imperils case against him

Paxton runs for reelection against Democrat Justin Nelson, a formidable opponent who centers his campaign on the indictment. Weeks after Paxton narrowly wins a second term, the Court of Criminal Appeals sides against the prosecutors in the pay dispute, ruling that the six-figure payments they had expected fell outside legal limits. The prosecutors ask the high court to reconsider its decision to ensure the court’s proceedings “appear fair to all who observe them.”

June 2019

Court upholds ruling against Paxton prosecutors

After sitting on the motion for six months, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals declines to reconsider its ruling, leaving the future of the prosecution in question.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘You lost me’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez graciously defuses confrontational question

Published

on

In an appearance on ABC's popular daytime talk show "The View" Wednesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke about what she called a "disconnect" between centrist, establishment members of the Democratic Party and progressive lawmakers who have been viewed as agitators in the party.

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg said that while she had applauded Ocasio-Cortez's surprise victory in her 2018 primary against Wall Street-backed former Rep. Joe Crowley, she has since cooled on the lawmaker due to what she views as a dismissal of baby boomers' past activism. Ocasio-Cortez has pushed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to back a Green New Deal, called on her fellow Democrats to support Medicare for All, and criticized Democrats who take big-money donations from the financial, for-profit healthcare, and fossil fuel sectors.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Security experts sound the alarm on Russian interference in the 2020 election: Their campaign is ‘underway’

Published

on

Cybersecurity experts have been warning that it isn’t a question of whether or not the Russian government under President Vladimir Putin will try to interfere in the United States’ 2020 election — it’s a question of how successful they will be and the ways in which they will make an attempt. Three security experts (Alex Finley, John Sipher and Asha Rangappa) address this concern in a February 19 article for Just Security, warning that troubling vulnerabilities remain in the United States’ election system.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

WATCH LIVE: Trump tries to distract from the Democratic debate with his own rally

Published

on

President Donald Trump is on a west coast swing to raise Beverly Hills cash. But Wednesday, Trump will deliver one of his classic rambling speeches to a room full of fans in an attempt to distract attention away from the Democratic debate in Arizona.

MSNBC intends to air the debate, where former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg will appear for the first time on the debate stage. There are expected to be fireworks on the stage as Democratic candidates like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) criticize the former mayor for buying his way into the Democratic debate and the primary.

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image