From the Lone Star Project on Wednesday:
Today the Texas Coalition for Lawyer Accountability (TCLA) filed suit against the Texas State Securities Board to obtain documents linked to Republican attorney general candidate Ken Paxton’s admitted felony violation of state securities law.
“Ken Paxton’s actions define corruption. Paxton has not only disqualified himself to serve as Texas attorney general, but to even practice law,” said Matt Angle, Lone Star Project director. “Current AG Greg Abbott’s silence on the Paxton felony is deafening and reflects his tolerance for corruption and his own lack of character and ethics. Both Paxton and Abbott are hiding out and hoping the press will ignore admitted criminal behavior. TCLA is responsibly working to assure that doesn’t happen and properly demanding accountability for the legal profession,” he added.
Despite the Securities Board’s own ruling that Paxton broke the law, slapping him with a Disciplinary Order and fine, it has refused to make documents related to their investigation available to the public. On August 21, TCLA requested that the board provide records pertaining to its investigation of Paxton and the illegal solicitations he made in exchange for kickbacks from long-time friend and partner-in-crime Frederick Mowery.
Not only did Paxton admit on record to committing a felony, as an attorney who defrauded his clients, he now must contend with the possibility of disbarment. On August 5, TCLA filed a disciplinary complaint and narrative with the State Bar, seeking the revocation of Ken Paxton’s law license, citing “multiple acts of serious Professional Misconduct in violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.”
As the Lone Star Project recently reported, Paxton is hiding behind his staff, refusing to answer questions by the media or speak with the public. The Board’s records are therefore “important evidence” in the TCLA complaint with the State Bar, and are directly relevant to unveiling the secrets Paxton has fought so hard to hide.
See here for the background, and here for the TCLA’s statement and explanation of their action. The Texas Politics blog has picked this up, but beyond that I haven’t seen any news coverage. As Iain Simpson commented on my previous post, there are reasons to be wary of self-appointed watchdogs springing into action like this in the middle of an election. On the other hand, I’m not sure what the value of the Securities Board keeping their documents secret is. According to the Statesman, some of the documents were withheld under state confidentiality requirements, but the Texas Securities Act, however, allows a court to order documents to be released for good cause. Which the plaintiffs naturally say they have. Anyway, it’s another little mess of Paxton’s own making that will have to be cleaned up in the unfortunate event that he gets elected.