A state district judge Wednesday rejected Attorney General Ken Paxton’s attempt to drastically cut legal fees for prosecutors in the criminal case against him.
District Judge George Gallagher issued two orders overruling Paxton’s objections to the prosecutors’ fees and ordering Collin County to honor an agreement to pay $300 an hour to Kent Schaffer and Brian Wice, Houston defense lawyers who were appointed as prosecutors in Paxton’s case after Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis — a friend and former business partner of Paxton — stepped aside in April.
Paxton’s lawyers had filed a late-December motion arguing that state law and Collin County rules limited payments for appointed lawyers, including prosecutors, to $1,000 each for pretrial work and $1,000 per day of trial.
According to Paxton’s filing, state District Judge Scott Becker agreed that Collin County would pay Schaffer and Wice $300 an hour. Becker later stepped aside, and the case was transferred to Gallagher.
“Judge Gallagher’s order does no more than honor the agreement we entered into with Collin County regarding the rate of compensation for our work as special prosecutors,” Wice said Wednesday.
I must have missed the filing of this motion, since I don’t appear to have anything on it in my archives. It’s not the same as the lawsuit that was filed to limit the prosecutors’ fees, which could take some time to be fully resolved. I’m hard-pressed to think of a non-petty reason for Team Paxton to do this – I mean sure, it might have made the prosecution do less, which certainly has strategic value for the defense, but come on. The only reason this is an issue at all is because there were no non-Paxton crony options for handling this case in Collin County. Whose fault is that? The Chron has more.