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Posts under ‘Scandalized!’

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 […]

Collin County would like us to pick up the Paxton prosecutor tab

I’ll bet they would. As Attorney General Ken Paxton’s legal troubles head into their third year, there’s another question aside from whether he’ll beat the rap — who will pay for it all? Taxpayers in Collin County, where Paxton was indicted on three felony charges, have had to pick up the tab. This hasn’t gone […]

Paxton gets his new judge

From the Be Careful What You Wish For department: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has received a new judge in his securities fraud case. Harris County District Judge Robert Johnson’s court has been randomly assigned to the case, according to Bill Murphy, a spokesman for the county district clerk. Paxton’s lawyers had fought for months […]

We have the Paxton case

By “we”, I mean Harris County. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s criminal case is officially moving to Harris County. In an order signed Friday morning, Judge George Gallagher vacated several previous orders scheduling hearings in the case and directed the Collin County District Clerk’s Office to transfer the proceedings to the Harris County District Clerk. Gallagher’s […]

CCA declines to get involved in Paxton judge dispute

That’s that, then. Texas’ highest criminal court has declined to intervene in the dispute over the judge in Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud case. On Friday, prosecutors asked the state Court of Criminal Appeals to reverse a lower appeals court ruling that supported Paxton’s push to remove the judge, George Gallagher. On Wednesday, however, […]

Paxton prosecutors appeal decision to boot judge

And on we go. Prosecutors in the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton are asking the state’s highest criminal court to overturn a ruling backing his push for a new judge. Paxton’s lawyers scored a win Tuesday when a state appeals court ruled the judge, George Gallagher, had lost jurisdiction by changing venue […]

5th Court rules Paxton judge overstepped

Yet another bizarre turn in this increasingly bizarre case. A state appeals court sided Tuesday with Attorney General Ken Paxton in his bid for a new judge in his securities fraud case, ruling the current judge lost jurisdiction when he changed venue to Harris County in April. The court also directed the judge, George Gallagher, […]

Time for the 5th Court to decide on Paxton prosecutor pay

Do your job, y’all. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s months-long effort to remove the judge in his securities fraud case is coming to a head in a Dallas appeals court. Prosecutors say the 5th Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction to get rid of the judge, George Gallagher, because he has moved the case out […]

Collin County punts prosecutor pay question back to appeals court

Incoming! The Collin County Commissioners Court has voted to not pay the prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against Attorney General Ken Paxton. The 5th Court of Appeals last week directed the commissioners to vote on the prosecutors’ latest bill before it can rule on a lawsuit challenging the fees’ legality. On Monday, the commissioners voted against […]

Appeals court chooses not to decide in Paxton prosecutor pay case

This is oddly fitting. The 5th Court of Appeals on Wednesday said they won’t make a decision on whether the three prosecutors’ fees are legal until the county votes to pay their last bill, which topped $205,000. The prosecutors’ pay has been on hold since January. The court has told the Collin County Commissioners Court […]

Appeals court hears Paxton prosecutors pay arguments

Meanwhile, back in Dallas, the 5th Court of Appeals had a hearing on the never-ending lawsuit by a Collin County crony to cut off payments to the Ken Paxton special prosecutors. On its face, the lawsuit filed by Jeffory Blackard, who has donated to Paxton’s campaign, appears to be an attempt to undermine the prosecution […]

Appeals court to determine if Paxton gets a new judge

Hold everything. A state appeals court has intervened in the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton, putting it on hold as his lawyers try to get a new judge. Hours after Paxton’s team requested that the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals get involved, the court on Tuesday issued a stay of all proceedings […]

Sen. Carlos Uresti indicted on federal fraud charges

Very bad. State Sen. Carlos Uresti, accused of misleading a former client who invested in a company in which Uresti has a financial stake, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 charges over his involvement in the alleged investment Ponzi scheme — in addition to a separate indictment alleging bribery. In the first […]

Paxton tries again – and fails – to get a new judge

Never give up, never surrender, I guess. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s criminal defense lawyers filed a motion Wednesday arguing the judge assigned to oversee his securities fraud trial is ineligible to oversee the case because his appointment was temporary. Legal experts say the argument appears dubious as Paxton’s legal team looks for ways to secure […]

Judicial Conduct commission seeks suspension of JP Hilary Green

Holy moley. In an explosive and rare move, Texas judicial authorities on Wednesday asked the Texas Supreme Court to suspend a Harris County justice of the peace accused of paying prostitutes for sex, misusing illegal drugs and ruling unethically in favor of a convicted con man. The sordid list of accusations against Judge Hilary Green, […]

Someone really doesn’t like the Paxton case judge

It’s dirty tricks time. An anonymous campaign-like piece of mail has begun appearing in Texas attacking the judge overseeing Attorney General Ken Paxton’s criminal securities fraud trial, discrediting the Tarrant County jurist who has said he plans to stay with the case as it moves to Houston this fall. The sepia tone flier that alleges […]

Stockman trial delayed

Alas. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman’s trial on federal corruption charges has been pushed back to next year. The trial, originally scheduled to begin June 5, will now kick off on Jan. 29, 2018, according to an order issued Wednesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal. Stockman’s lawyer had requested the delay last week, […]

Paxton still pushing for a new judge

Still, he persisted, I guess. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawyers are not giving up in their bid to get a new judge in his securities fraud case. Earlier this month, Judge George Gallagher ordered Paxton’s trial be moved to Harris County from Collin County, where Paxton lives, after prosecutors argued Paxton and his allies […]

No new judge for Paxton

Denied! State District Judge George Gallagher will remain on the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to a spokeswoman for the judge. It was originally believed Gallagher would have to rule on a request Paxton’s lawyers made this month for a new judge. But the spokeswoman, Melody McDonald Lanier, said Monday that […]

Paxton wants a new judge

He may not get his wish. The judge presiding over Attorney General Ken Paxton’s criminal trial plans to remain on the case, regardless of Paxton’s request for a new judge, his spokesman said. “He anticipates remaining the judge,” District Judge George Gallagher’s spokeswoman Melody McDonald Lanier told the Houston Chronicle Thursday. Paxton’s criminal defense team […]

Paxton’s trial date set for September 12

Mark your calendars. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s newly relocated criminal trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 12. The judge in the case set the trial date Wednesday, a day after moving the proceedings to Harris County. The trial had originally been scheduled to start May 1 in Collin County. The judge, George Gallagher, said in […]

Paxton trial moved to Harris County

The circus is coming to town, with none of those morally questionable animal acts to get all angsty about. Attorney General Ken Paxton will face a jury in Harris County on felony criminal charges he committed securities fraud and failed to register with the state as an investment advisor, a district judge ruled Tuesday. District […]

Stockman trial date set

Mark your calendar. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman is set to go to trial June 5 on federal corruption charges. Stockman, a Houston-area Republican, has pleaded not guilty to charges of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable donations to himself and his congressional campaign. He was arraigned Monday. The trial is expected to […]