Mar 27, 2024 - News

Ken Paxton reaches a deal

Photo Illustration of Attorney General Ken Paxton with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals; Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has dodged criminal prosecution in a long-running felony securities fraud case, agreeing to community service to avoid a trial and conviction.

Why it matters: The agreement with prosecutors appears to be an anticlimactic end to the case — and allows Paxton to maintain an unblemished record, even as he has faced myriad accusations of corruption.

Catch up quick: Paxton was indicted on securities fraud charges shortly after he took office as attorney general in 2015.

  • He faced allegations that he had convinced investors, including then-Republican state lawmaker Byron Cook, to purchase at least $100,000 worth of stock in tech startup Servergy without disclosing that he would be paid for it.

Driving the news: Prosecutors agreed Tuesday to drop the securities fraud charges if Paxton performs 100 hours of community service.

  • The agreement also requires him to take legal ethics courses and pay restitution to those he is accused of defrauding.
  • The total amount of restitution will be "somewhere a little bit south of $300,000," prosecutor Brian Wice said, per the Texas Tribune.

What they're saying: Speaking to reporters in Houston on Tuesday, Paxton attorney Dan Cogdell said Paxton was "more than happy to comply" with the terms of the dismissal.

The other side: "​​Something is wrong when the state's top lawyer is forced to take a class on how to be a good lawyer," John Bucy III, a Democratic state lawmaker representing Williamson County, wrote on X.

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