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Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud case can be tried in the North Texas home county, an appeals court said Thursday when it denied the prosecutor’s request to reconsider the decision.
Houston’s first court of appeals denied a motion by prosecutors to hold a full nine-court hearing to review the decision of a three-judge court that moved the Harris County case to the May case. Collin County. , where Paxton lives. The order avoids further delays in the six-year criminal case against the incumbent Attorney General and returns the case to what is seen as a kinder place to the two-term Republican president.
Judges Gordon Goodman and Amparo Guerra disagreed with the court’s opinion and Judge April Farris did not participate. Goodman, who was part of the three-panel panel that sent the case to Collin, had disagreed in part with the original decision.
Paxton’s defense attorneys publicized the court’s decision and urged prosecutors to go ahead with the case.
“Several courts have now ruled [Presiding] Judge [George] Gallagher’s transfer of General Paxton’s case to Harris County was without legal authority. It’s time for the special prosecutors in this case to dismiss these unfounded charges or try the case in Collin County where he always belonged, “said Dan Cogdell, one of Paxton’s attorneys in a statement.” The time to play politics is over. As the saying goes, “either shut up or shut up”
Paxton is accused of convincing investors to buy shares in a tech company without revealing that they would be compensated. He was a member of the Texas House at the time. Paxton denies any illegal offense and says the allegations are politically motivated.
In May, the group of three Democratic judges allowed the case to return to Collin County with a 2-1 vote, ruling that the presiding judge who moved the Collin County case in March 2017 had no longer been assigned. in the judicial region. managing the Paxton case. The verdict was a major victory for Paxton, who had asked the courts to try his home county, a firmly Republican area of the state where he and his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, they are well-known politicians. figures.
But prosecutors had accused Paxton’s legal team of “taking out” the courts by withholding information about the judge’s expired assignment so that they could later raise the issue in an attempt to return the case to Collin County. Prosecutor Brian Wice argued that Paxton’s legal team had waited until Tarrant County Judge George Gallagher, the presiding judge, had moved Collin County’s case to the court of appeal. . Wice asked the appeals court to reconsider the group’s decision and determine whether Paxton’s legal team knew of Gallagher’s expired term before the case.
The majority of the court denied this request.
Allegations of fraud have overshadowed Paxton for almost all of his two terms and he has already won two opponents in his re-election battle next year: Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Judge Eva Guzman . Bush has criticized Paxton for his multiple legal messes.
Paxton is also being investigated by the FBI for the latest allegations course of former employees who say he abused his political power and accepted bribes. He denies these allegations. Four former aides have filed a complaint arguing that Paxton fired them in retaliation for reporting their alleged behavior to federal and state agencies.
Paxton has also faced multiple investigations by state attorneys for lack of professional conduct related to his failed efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case.
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