We’ll see if they have any better luck this time.
Texans for Public Justice on Monday re-filed its criminal complaint against Attorney General Ken Paxton with local prosecutors in Dallas and Collin Counties, arguing the latter should recuse himself because of conflict of interest concerns.
“Mr. Paxton’s conduct demands a thorough and independent investigation,” Craig McDonald, executive director of Texans for Public Justice, wrote to Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.
“We further believe that as a friend and business associate of Mr. Paxton that you should recuse yourself from this matter. To ensure independent and impartial judgment, you should forward our complaint to the proper judicial authority to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate Mr. Paxton’s conduct.”
McDonald has accused Collin County of “stonewalling” his group’s efforts because of Willis’ long-time friendship and business relationship with the new attorney general. The two men have known each other for more than 30 years and have invested in at least four different ventures together.
The conflict of interest problems McDonald cites in his letter also have concerned lawmakers considering a proposal to move the Public Integrity Unit outside of Travis County. Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, on Friday also called for Willis to recuse himself, and said the concerns the Paxton case raises illustrate the pitfalls of handing public corruption cases to hometown prosecutors who inevitably have deep ties with local politicians.
See here for the background. A copy of the letter sent to Collin County DA Greg Willis is here, a copy of the letter sent to Dallas County DA Susan Hawk is here, and a copy of the complaint sent to Collin County is here. I can’t wait to see what if any response they get. What recourse TPJ may have if no action is taken is not clear to me.