We’ll see if anything comes of this.
Days after Texas regulators fined Sen. Ken Paxton $1,000 for working for a financial firm without registering with the state, a plaintiff’s lawyer filed a similar complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Paxton, a McKinney state senator and the Republican front-runner in the primary runoff for attorney general, said through a spokesman the complaint is baseless and politically timed to drum up negative media against his campaign just 11 days before early voting begins.
The claims and counterclaims by Branch and Paxton began last month.
It was fueled further recently when the State Securities Board slapped Paxton with a $1,000 fine for acting as an “investment adviser representative” for Mowery Capital Management, which provides estate planning and investment management, without obtaining state registration.
Following the state action, Longview lawyer John Sloan filed a complaint with the SEC.
“I couldn’t see the guy getting away with that,” Sloan said. “He must feel like he’s above the law.”
The Paxton campaign questioned the timing of the complaint.
Sloan represented a Dallas couple in a 2009 lawsuit against Paxton that was voluntarily dismissed.
Former U.S. Attorney Matt Orwig, in a statement made available by the Paxton campaign, said the Sloan complaint in the middle of a “hotly contested political campaign” is suspicious.
“It appears to be more of a political stunt than a serious complaint given that the issues appear to have been resolved in other venues,” Orwig said.
Former state and federal regulators said it was doubtful the complaint would trigger an SEC investigation.
See here and here for the background. It would be nice to have an objective opinion on the complaint instead of just one from someone that is apparently connected to Paxton’s campaign. As far as the timing goes, when exactly was it supposedly to be filed? We only just found out about Paxton’s peccadilloes and the wrist slap he received for them. And as for the SEC not being likely to act on the complaint, is that normal or is it a statement about the complaint’s merit? Sure, this could be a political stunt – Sloan would appear to have motive – but I can’t get a feel for that from this story. What do you think?
On a tangential note, this Trib story sees a parallel between the current GOP runoff for AG and the one in 1998, when John Cornyn overtook Barry Williamson after the latter got bogged down in stories about his law license lapsing. I wasn’t paying very much attention to that race so I can’t say just how much alike that one is to this one, but for what it’s worth Paxton just lost the endorsement of another law enforcement group for his travails. So who knows?