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Paxton Likely To Face Criminal Trial After High Court Denies Third Request for Dismissal

Marjorie Kamys Cotera
The Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton got some bad news Wednesday regarding the securities fraud charges against him.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected Paxton’s third attempt to get his indictment thrown out.

The state’s top lawyer has been fighting the indictment since it was first handed up last summer. It came just six months after Paxton was sworn in as the state’s attorney general.

The charges allege Paxton misled investors that he recruited for the high-tech startup, Servergy, in 2011, failing to inform them that he was being paid a commission.

His first two attempts to get the state’s high court to dismiss the case failed, but fueled by a favorable ruling from U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant last week, Paxton’s defense attorneys argued the appeal for the third time Wednesday.

Mazzant dismissed the civil case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, saying the SEC case lacked sufficient facts to move forward. But Mazzant gave the federal regulators two weeks to re-file the suit.

The Texas court that denied Paxton’s third request for dismissal ruled without comment.  He now has exhausted efforts to get the charges dismissed, and a trial could begin in the spring. Paxton faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted. 

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.