Paxton the political advisor


Best mugshot ever

The former CEO of the technology firm tied to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud indictment told investigators he paid the then-lawmaker to provide information on how to market his product to government agencies, according to a new brief in the case.

The disclosure, filed Wednesday by the special prosecutors appointed to the case, also raises questions about the former CEO’s credibility, noting he gave different accounts of Paxton’s involvement with his firm to the Texas Rangers and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission during a federal fraud probe.

State and federal laws require prosecutors to disclose evidence that may be beneficial to a defendant in what is called a “Brady notice,” named for a Supreme Court ruling – Brady v. Maryland – that says criminal suspects are entitled to exculpatory information uncovered by prosecutors.

Wednesday’s filing states that William Mapp, then CEO of the McKinney technology firm Servergy, told the SEC in 2014 that he had handed over $100,000 worth of stock in his company as a commission for Paxton to solicit new investors. At the time, the federal agency was investigating Servergy over allegations it defrauded investors.

Mapp later told investigators with the Texas Rangers that Paxton refused the commission and accepted the stock “in exchange for Paxton being a political adviser to the company and for providing information about upcoming opportunities for Servergy to market their servers to government data centers,” the Brady disclosure states.

The special prosecutors, Kent Schaffer and Brian Wice, declined comment on the filing Wednesday.

“I can’t really say what the impact of the Brady Notice regarding Mr. Mapp is going to be, except to state the obvious – the prosecutors believed that the purported discrepancy in his positions was favorable to the defense or that it was a significant enough change that they were required to let us know, credibility wise,” Dan Cogdell, Paxton’s lead defense attorney wrote in an email Wednesday evening.

“It is interesting to see that some of the State’s theories as to what happened or didn’t happen seem to be evolving fairly quickly over a short period of time,” he wrote.

Nice to know that when defense attorneys get appointed as special prosecutors that they take Brady requirements seriously, isn’t it? As to the effect it may have on this case, who knows? It will likely make William Mapp’s credibility more of an issue now, but it still doesn’t exactly make Paxton look squeaky clean. We also don’t know what else the prosecutors may have up their sleeve. Wait and see what comes out at trial, that’s still the best strategy. The Statesman, the Press, and WFAA have more.

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