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Ken Paxton finds a new thing to lie about

This counts as personal growth for him.

Best mugshot ever

The state police made him do it.

That’s the excuse Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton gives on his Texas ethics disclosures in place of revealing, as required by law, the addresses of properties he owns in Austin and College Station.

“Redacted for security purposes on request of TX DPS,” the second-term Republican has written on every disclosure form since he began work as attorney general.

There are two problems with that statement: Nothing in the law allows him to refuse to provide the addresses, and none of the parties involved — the Department of Public Safety, Texas Ethics Commission or even Paxton’s own office — could produce any records proving such a request was ever made.

“The department doesn’t have any record of making that request,” DPS spokesman Travis Considine said.

An attorney general’s office spokesman and Paxton’s campaign spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

The ethics commission is barred from releasing Paxton’s home address in McKinney to the public. He provides that address to the agency annually. It’s unclear, however, why Paxton wouldn’t disclose the addresses of his other properties.

The agency, which enforces campaign finance and political ethics laws, keeps the information on file to ensure transparency for voters and guard against conflicts of interest. Paxton did include the properties’ counties, zip codes and acreage on the paperwork.

One of the unknown addresses is likely that of an Austin home that Paxton’s former aides claim was remodeled by Nate Paul, one of the various perks they said Paxton received in exchange for using his office to benefit Paul, a wealthy investor and campaign donor.

The home, in the Tarrytown neighborhood of Austin, was purchased by Paxton in 2018, county records show. Its appraised value in 2022 was nearly $1.7 million.

[…]

By state law, the ethics commission must redact a fair amount of information from the ethics commission forms before releasing them to the public, including: filers’ home addresses, telephone numbers and names of dependent children.

People who hold public office can check a box to indicate an address is a home address, as Paxton has done most years for his McKinney property, which has a market value of nearly $1.2 million. But those redactions are the commission’s purview.

“A filer may not choose to make their own redactions,” said J.R. Johnson, general counsel with the Texas Ethics Commission. “A filer must include all information required by law.”

Except that Ken Paxton doesn’t care about that. He’s a law unto himself, and he doesn’t answer to anyone else. More to the point, he has figured out that there isn’t anyone or anything that can hold him accountable for his utter contempt for laws and rules and other things that chumps subject themselves to. Well, maybe the voters, and maybe someday the criminal justice system. But until then, he’s gonna keep on giving the system the finger.

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3 Comments

  1. Souperman says:

    I don’t get it, either. Once I figured out his first name is really Warren, the likely properties are not hard to find.

  2. Kibitzer says:

    @Souperman

    It’s not that hard to look up a Texas lawyer on the State Bar of Texas (SBOT) website. There are not that many with the last name Paxton, so a last-name query will do.

    MR. WARREN KENNETH PAXTON JR.

    A few things of interest here other than the full name:

    PRACTICE INFORMATION
    Firm: Office Of Attorney General
    Firm Size: 2 to 5
    Occupation: Private Law Practice
    Practice Areas: Business, Real Estate, Wills-Trusts-Probate
    Primary Practice Location: Mckinney , Texas

    False in multiple respects as of 5/27/2022. The OAG, in effect the state’s law firm, has hundreds of lawyers and working there is not private law practice. Principal practice areas are government entity/admin. law and child support collection and other collections and civil enforcement. And the headquarters are in Austin.

    Statutory Profile Last Certified On: 10/23/2018

    That’s a bit dated, but Paxton was first sworn into office in January 2015. See Attorney General’s “About” page on his official dot-gov website. So, already a public official then rather than an attorney in private practice.

    Finally, this Texas attorney is green-dotted and shown as “Eligible to Practice in Texas” by the State Bar of Texas, but also “on active suspension” as of 5/22/2022 in the PUBLIC DISCIPLINARY HISTORY segment of his profile page.

    https://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Find_A_Lawyer&template=/Customsource/MemberDirectory/MemberDirectoryDetail.cfm&ContactID=182172

  3. Kibitzer says:

    OOPS … 3 DAYS OFF (correction)

    PUBLIC DISCIPLINARY HISTORY OF WARREN KENNETH PAXTON JR.

    Active Suspension 05/25/22

    [rather than 5/22/2022]