3.26.24 – Texas Tribune

“TAG Ken Paxton Agrees to Community Service to Avoid Trial, Conviction in Securities Fraud Case” 

By Jasper Scherer

Excerpts from this article:

Felony charges against Ken Paxton to be dropped | The Texas Tribune

Prosecutors on Tuesday agreed to drop the securities fraud charges facing Attorney General Ken Paxton if he performs 100 hours of community service and fulfills other conditions of a pretrial agreement, bringing an abrupt end to the nearly nine-year-old felony case that has loomed over the embattled Republican since his early days in office.

The deal, which landed three weeks before Paxton is set to face trial, also requires him to take 15 hours of advanced legal education courses and pay restitution to those he is accused of defrauding more than a decade ago when he allegedly solicited investors in a McKinney technology company without disclosing that the firm was paying him to promote its stock. The total amount of restitution will be “somewhere a little bit south of $300,000,” prosecutor Brian Wice said.

Paxton, who will not have to enter a plea under the terms of the agreement…

Paxton attorney Dan Cogdell said the prosecutors “approached us” and Paxton was “happy to agree to the terms of the dismissal.”

“But let me be clear, at no time was he going to enter any plea bargain agreement or admit to conduct that simply did not occur,” Cogdell said in a statement. “There is no admission of any wrongdoing on Ken’s part in the agreement because there was no wrongdoing on his part.”

The deal is the second major win for Paxton in roughly the last six months, after the Republican-controlled Texas Senate acquitted him last fall…


Paxton, who spent a largely uneventful decade in the state House, rose to political prominence based in part on his reputation as a stalwart backer of religious liberty who would use the attorney general's office to wage major legal battles on issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights. 

He has frequently sued the Biden administration on an array of policies, most notably around immigration. 

He also tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election in four key battleground states won by President Joe Biden, an unsuccessful bid that nonetheless cemented Paxton's political alliance with former President Donald Trump... 

Trump has repeatedly come to Paxton's defense and encouraged his legions of followers to target those who have opposed Paxton, including House GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach the attorney general.

The result clears a major hurdle for Paxton's political future. He is widely seen as a likely candidate for higher statewide office and has pointedly refused to rule out the possibility of challenging U.S. Sen. 
John Cornyn in the 2026 Republican primary.



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