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Texas Supreme Court Denies Paxton Effort to Shut Down Whistleblower Lawsuit Testimony

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton faced a significant legal setback Friday afternoon as the Texas Supreme Court denied his request to avoid giving sworn testimony in a whistleblower lawsuit. The state appeals court in Austin had previously rejected Paxton’s attempt to evade testifying in the case brought by four high-ranking officials fired from the attorney general’s office in 2020 after reporting him to the FBI.

The ruling issued late on Friday, is a blow to Paxton, who has consistently resisted efforts to compel his testimony regarding allegations of bribery and official misconduct related to indicted real estate investor Nate Paul.

The decision follows a Travis County district court judge’s order mandating Paxton and his top deputies to testify in the case and a subsequent decision by the 3rd Court of Appeals that upheld the earlier ruling. 

As of now, Paxton’s campaign and the attorney general’s office have not responded to requests for comment.

The four whistleblowers—James “Blake” Brickman, David Maxwell, Mark Penley, and Ryan Vassar—former top officials in the attorney general’s office, were terminated in 2020 after reporting Paxton to the FBI. Their testimony formed the basis of articles of impeachment approved by the Texas House last year, leading to Paxton’s impeachment trial in September, where he was acquitted.

The ongoing civil case centers around allegations that Paxton improperly used his office to assist real estate investor Nate Paul, who faces federal charges of bank and wire fraud. The whistleblower suit contends that Paxton intervened in a civil lawsuit and covertly hired an outside lawyer to collaborate with Paul’s attorney, serving subpoenas against Paul’s adversaries in various lawsuits involving his real estate company, World Class Holdings.

Despite Paxton and the whistleblowers reaching a $3.3 million settlement, the case remains unresolved as it awaits legislative approval. The Texas Supreme Court has previously ruled in the case, allowing litigation to resume, and the latest ruling sets the stage for potential further legal proceedings.

Written by RA News staff.


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