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Posts under ‘Scandalized!’

Chris Oliver gets sentenced

Goodbye. A former Houston Community College trustee was sentenced to nearly six years in prison on Monday after a judge said he accepted more than a quarter million dollars in bribes in exchange for his influence over contract work with the college. In the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore asked Chris Oliver if […]

No Paxton trial till prosecutor pay case resolved

It’s not on the court calendar at this time. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s fraud trials have been put on hold as the lawyers pursuing the criminal charges against him fight for years of back pay. Judge Robert Johnson has taken Paxton’s three criminal cases off his docket for now, the court confirmed to The Dallas […]

CCA to review Paxton prosecutors pay case

Good. The state’s highest criminal court agreed Wednesday to take a closer look at prosecutors’ long-running fight to get paid for their handling of the securities fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The move by the state’s Court of Criminal Appeals could have a major impact on the separate case against Paxton. The […]

You can’t legislate from jail

That’s the Ron Reynolds story. There’s a chance state Rep. Ron Reynolds could be sentenced to serve a year in jail next year. If that happens, he wouldn’t have to resign, according to state officials. The Houston-area Democrat recently lost his appeal to a 2016 conviction of five misdemeanor barratry charges for illegal solicitation of […]

Farenthold changes course

Sort of. U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, will retire from Congress after finishing his current term, a source close to the congressman told The Tribune Thursday morning. Farenthold soon confirmed the decision in an emotional video posted on Facebook.The decision came after a difficult December for the four-term congressman. Farenthold, one of the quieter […]

So now that names have been named, now what?

Maybe some hearings? I don’t know. Texas leaders called for a review of sexual harassment policies at the state Legislature following a Texas Tribune story detailing how current procedures offered little protection for victims and describing a wide range of harassment at the Capitol. The Texas House approved changes to its policy last week. The Senate, where Lt. Gov. Dan […]

Hey, remember that harassment lawsuit against Rep. Blake Farenthold?

I’m just gonna leave this right here. Rep. Blake Farenthold used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by his former spokesman — the only known sitting member of Congress to have used a little-known congressional account to pay an accuser, people familiar with the matter told POLITICO. Lauren Greene, the Texas Republican’s […]

Appeals court upholds Reynolds barratry conviction

Not good. A Texas appeals court has upheld the conviction of state Rep. Ron Reynolds, who was found guilty in 2015 of engaging in a scheme to illegally solicit potential clients for his law firm. The three-judge appellate panel ruled Wednesday that there was sufficient evidence to convict Reynolds and that the trial judge did […]

TCDLA pulls Paxton prosecutors brief

Get your act together, y’all. A leading organization of criminal defense lawyers on Tuesday withdrew its legal brief in support of prosecutors who are fighting to get paid for work on the criminal case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The friend-of-the-court brief, which argued that the payment fight could endanger the system for ensuring […]

In support of the Paxton prosecutors

Good to see. In an unusual step, six prosecutors and Texas’ criminal defense attorneys association have joined a continuing legal storm over how much the special prosecutors overseeing the criminal case against Attorney General Ken Paxton should get paid. Preventing the three special prosecutors in Paxton’s case from getting paid would thwart justice, according to […]

No bribery charges against Paxton

I didn’t expect this to amount to anything, and indeed it hasn’t. A $100,000 donation to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s legal fund did not constitute bribery, Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Wiley said Friday in announcing her office had closed its investigation into the gift, which came from a CEO whose company was under investigation […]

More on the Paxton bribery investigation

It’s good to have rich friends. Attorney General Ken Paxton says the man who shelled out the most money to help him combat securities fraud charges is a “family friend,” but a review of campaign finance records show his main financier is also a major Republican donor for candidates up and down the ticket. In […]

Charges against Dukes dropped

She beat the rap. Travis County prosecutors have dropped their criminal charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, saying Monday that a felony case against the state lawmaker should never have been brought. The announcement ends a months-long legal saga in which Dukes was accused of abusing public office after a grand jury indicted her […]

Stockman aide takes a plea

The walls are closing in. A longtime confidant and aide to former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman pleaded guilty to Wednesday to fraud charges in a corruption scheme that also targeted the former congressman. The alleged scheme involved diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars — meant as contributions from conservative foundations — to fund political campaigns […]

Paxton being investigated for bribery

Sounds sexy, but don’t get too excited just yet. Attorney General Ken Paxton is being investigated under bribery and corrupt-influence laws for accepting a six-figure gift from a CEO whose company was under investigation by the state for fraud, the district attorney leading the probe confirmed Thursday. In July 2016, Austin-based medical device company Preferred Imaging LLC agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement after […]

Paxton trial delayed again

This will happen some day. I hope. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial has been put off for a third time. The judge in the securities fraud case against Paxton sided Wednesday with prosecutors who had been pushing for another trial delay because of a long-running dispute over their fees. The decision by Harris County District […]

CCA stays Paxton prosecutor pay ruling

A bit of sanity at last, though we’re not out of the woods yet. Texas’ highest criminal court has stepped into the long-running dispute over the prosecutors’ pay in the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton, putting on hold a lower-court ruling that voided a six-figure invoice. In a decision Monday, the Court […]

Paxton prosecutors officially petition the CCA over their pay

Last chance. The special prosecutors in the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton are asking the state’s highest criminal court to help them get paid. On Tuesday, the prosecutors asked the Court of Criminal Appeals to reverse a ruling from a lower court last month that voided a six-figure invoice for work that […]

Dukes gets deferral on felony charges

Possibly good news for one embattled legislative incumbent. The Travis County district attorney will not pursue, at least for now, the most serious charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, saying prosecutors have renewed their investigation into the travel vouchers at the heart of the 13 felony counts the Austin Democrat is facing. District Attorney Margaret […]

Collin County wants its pay back

Of course they do. Collin County is about to start another fight over the prosecution of indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Since 2015, the county has been billed more than half a million dollars to prosecute Paxton, who faces securities fraud charges. But fresh off a court win that voided half of those costs, […]

Paxton prosecutors to petition CCA

Last chance to get paid. The state’s highest criminal court will get a chance to decide whether the special prosecutors appointed in the criminal cases against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton can be paid the $300-an-hour rate they were promised. Kent A. Schaffer, one of the three special prosecutors in Texas v. Paxton, said the […]

5th Court of Appeals screws Paxton prosecutors

Ugh. The prosecutors pursuing charges against Attorney General Ken Paxton haven’t been paid in more than a year and a half — and they will continue to wait on a payday. On Monday, the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas voided a $205,000 invoice dating back to January 2016, saying state laws and local rules […]

No deal for Dukes

The die is cast. The Travis County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday said its offer to drop all corruption charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, in exchange for her agreeing to resign immediately had expired. In a statement sent to The Texas Tribune after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said […]

Dukes offered deal to resign

Take it, I say. Beleaguered state Rep. Dawnna Dukes has until the end of the day Tuesday to resign from office — and submit to a drug and alcohol assessment — as part of a plea offer in her criminal corruption case. The plea offer is similar to one Dukes rejected last year prior to […]

Public Works Director Sreerama is out

From the inbox, a Friday afternoon special: Statement by Mayor Sylvester Turner on city Public Works and Engineering director “Karun Sreerama has accomplished much in Houston as a businessman and involved citizen. I am sure he will continue to be an asset to our community. However he and I have agreed that it would be […]

Paxton’s trial date set

Mark your calendars. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will face trial in December for the first of three criminal charges, a Houston judge ruled Thursday. Jury selection will begin Dec. 1 and testimony will start on Dec. 11 for the single count of failing to register as an investment adviser with the state. Paxton, who […]

HCC Board censures Chris Oliver

It’s the most they can do. The Houston Community College system’s board of trustees decided Thursday to reprimand a 21-year veteran of the elected board who has pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge. The board’s eight other members decried Christopher W. Oliver’s acceptance of unlawful payments as “reprehensible.” They voted unanimously to formally censure […]

Houston Public Works director caught up in HCC bribery case

Unclear yet how big a deal this is, but it is a big deal. Houston Public Works Director Karun Sreerama made $77,143 in unlawful payments to a Houston Community College trustee who faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to bribery, according to federal court records. The payments – made when Sreerama […]

Judicial Conduct commission suspends JP Hilary Green

Bam! The Texas Supreme Court on Friday issued an order to suspend Harris County Justice of the Peace Hilary Green from office immediately based on allegations that Green illegally abused prescription drugs, sent sexually explicit texts to a bailiff while on the bench and paid for sex. It’s the first time any Texas judge has received […]

HCC Trustee Chris Oliver pleads guilty to bribery charges

Hoo boy. A Houston Community College trustee faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to bribery, federal prosecutors said Friday. The case of 53-year-old Christopher W. Oliver, 53, of Houston was unsealed by U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore on Friday, according to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Abe […]

We should all have friends like these

It’s like they say: Friends help you move. Real friends help you move dead bodies. Really real friends help pay for your criminal defense. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, nearly two years into his fight against state securities fraud charges, is continuing to get plenty of help from his friends to cover his soaring legal […]

First Paxton trial hearing in Harris County

Not much happened, but there are some big questions to address. The securities fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton kicked off Thursday in Harris County with no new trial date being set. Instead, the new judge in the case, Robert Johnson, asked both sides to come back July 27 to continue discussing a […]

Dukes pleads not guilty

To all counts. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, entered not guilty pleas to abuse-of-office charges Friday in Travis County district court. The 12-term lawmaker pleaded not guilty to tampering with a governmental record and abuse of official capacity by a public servant. Judge Brad Urrutia on Friday set a trial date of Oct. 16. Dukes […]

Former Stockman aide returns to US

The gang’s all here. Federal agents quietly arrested Jason Posey, a former congressional aide who’d been wanted for two months on charges that he helped ex-U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman carry out a criminal conspiracy to bilk millionaire donors, violate elections laws, and illegally divert hundreds of thousands in campaign cash. Posey and Stockman were both […]