Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is under fire in a whistleblower investigation involving Austin real estate mogul Nate Paul.

Investigators on Wednesday presented evidence to a Texas House committee alleging years of misconduct and questionable behavior by the Texas Tribune Paxton. Report.

Paxton violated multiple state laws, misused office funds and abused his power to benefit Paul, according to testimony from four investigators of the House General Investigations Committee. Their testimony focused on a $3.3 million settlement to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit brought by four top lieutenants who were arrested after accusing Paxton of taking bribes and using his influence to get jobs for his alleged mistress. fired.

Committee Chairman Andrew Murr said the spending would also prevent a trial in which evidence of Paxton’s alleged wrongdoing could be publicly presented. Committee members questioned whether lawmakers were required to participate in the cover-up.

“It’s appalling and very serious to have this discussion when millions of taxpayer dollars are being asked to right an alleged wrong,” Moore told the outlet. “That’s something we have to address. It’s challenging.”

The investigating committee could recommend that the House condemn or impeach Paxton, who has been re-elected twice despite being charged with securities fraud in 2015 and on whistleblower charges in 2020.

Four employees were fired after telling federal and state investigators they had concerns about Paxton’s dealings with Paul.

A committee led by Erin Epley conducted numerous interviews with Paxton Agency employees. All but one of the employees said they feared Paxton would retaliate against them if their testimony was released, the outlet said.

Paul donated $25,000 to Paxton’s campaign in 2018, helping him completely renovate his Austin home and hire a woman he allegedly had a relationship with. In exchange, Paul, the chief executive of World Class Holdings, is said to have received favors from the attorney general.

Shortly after the testimony, Paxton criticized the Beaumont Republican “committee appointed by liberal Speaker Dade Phelan” for undermining his job as attorney general.

“Each charge is easily refuted, and I look forward to continuing to fight for conservative Texas values,” Paxton said.

The Texas House of Representatives has the power to impeach Paxton, which would lead to a trial in the Senate if it decides to go that route. Removing state officials requires the support of two-thirds of both chambers.

— Quinn Donoghue

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