This has to be some kind of modern record. At least, I hope it is.
A group of fourteen attorneys filed a complaint with the State Bar of Texas Monday, asking the legal regulatory body to investigate the criminal allegations facing suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton and seeking possible disbarment.
“Paxton’s conduct is so egregious that the State Bar has no real option other than moving forward with the inquiry into disbarring Paxton. His conduct is shameful, illegal, and unethical,” complainant attorney Jim Harrington said. “No attorney in the State of Texas should be allowed to practice law with a record of this kind of nefarious conduct. The Texas House of Representatives decided that the information was serious enough to remove Paxton from office. The State Bar is duty-bound to investigate and take appropriate action, which we would consider to be disbarment.”
The attorneys filing the complaint Monday, including three former presidents of the State Bar, argue Paxton ought to be prevented from practicing law entirely, regardless of the outcome in the legislature.
The complaint cites the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct, which defines standards for licensed lawyers in the state.
“Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens,” the TRPC states in Rule 8.04, Comment 4. “A lawyer’s abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of attorney.”
The Attorney General of Texas does not need to be a licensed attorney by law. However, Paxton would need to delegate certain responsibilities of the office to licensed attorneys in his office should he be disbarred.
Jim Harrington was among those who filed the 2021 State Bar complaint about Paxton trying to overturn the 2020 election, which as you know is still in progress and for which there will be an appellate hearing following the impeachment trial. I’m happy for Ken Paxton to live the rest of his life more or less as a fugitive, but I also hope that there will be no need for this complaint to be heard. I very much hope that some combination of impeachment, the existing State Bar complaint, the state securities fraud case, and maybe someday in my dreams some FBI charges relating to the Nate Paul mess will bring him down, ideally many times over. If he somehow comes out of all that still on his feet, then it’s hard to see how this complaint could possibly matter. As I said, I’m happy for Paxton to be eternally pecked by ill-tempered waterfowl. I’d just like something with more substance to take him out along the way. The Current has more.