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Posts under ‘Scandalized!’

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 […]

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 […]