Ken Paxton faces complaint of Texas Securities Act violations

Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, addresses the opening session of the 82nd Texas Legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, addresses the opening session of the 82nd Texas Legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – As Gov. Rick Perry faces criminal charges, another Republican politician is under legal scrutiny. Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, the GOP nominee for Texas Attorney General,  is the focus of a complaint regarding violations of the Texas Securities Act.

Texans for Public Justice – the same group behind the Perry indictment – filed the complaint against Paxton last month with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, which can launch its own investigation, bring the matter to a grand jury or decline to prosecute.

Paxton already admitted this spring to the ethics problem of directing his former law clients to an investment firm. He has since paid a fine to the securities commission. State law says he should have registered as an agent to make those referrals – which he did not. He also did not include the money made from commission he received on his legislative income disclosure form to the state. State law says those  violations can be a criminal act.

“As widely reported in the media, on April 30, 2014, by sworn acknowledgement, Mr. Paxton admitted to conduct that violated the Texas Securities Act,” the TPJ complaint says.

Paxton’s office has suggested the complaint was a political stunt and has said the matter was already fully reviewed – simply a paperwork mistake for which he paid a $1,000 fine.

This month, the Texas Coalition on Lawyer Accountability filed a grievance with the State Bar of Texas for the same disclosure conflict.

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