Defense Lawyer Says Grand Jury Stopped Investigating Ken Paxton Over Land Deal

An attorney for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has stated that a grand jury is no longer investigating him over a land deal.

A defense lawyer for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said that a Collin County grand jury has dropped its investigation of the state prosecutor over a 2004 land deal. Attorney Philip Hilder said recently that special prosecutors stated that action will not be taken against Paxton in the matter, who was also indicted by a separate grand jury on securities fraud charges last year.

Source: AP Report “Attorney: New grand jury takes no action against Texas AG”

“AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A lawyer for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says a grand jury has stopped investigating the state’s top prosecutor over a land deal in his hometown of McKinney. Attorney Philip Hilder said Wednesday that special prosecutors told him no action will be taken against Paxton, who has faced two grand jury investigations since becoming attorney general. Last year, a separate grand jury indicted the Republican on two counts of securities fraud.”

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The most recent investigation was focused on the sale of land in McKinney that became the location of a government office for Collin County. Paxton is stated to have been affiliated with the company that made the deal.

Special prosecutors Bob Gill and Miles Brissette, who were appointed by District Judge George Gallagher of Fort Worth to investigate related criminal allegations in November, recently issued a statement saying “After reviewing voluminous documents, hearing the testimony of numerous witnesses and conducting an exhaustive examination of all relevant information, the grand jury concluded that no further action was warranted.”

Paxton attorney Bill Mateja said in a statement in response to the most recent developments of the case, “We would like to thank the special prosecutors for their diligence in reviewing all aspects of this matter and for reaching out to General Paxton to obtain his cooperation in their investigation.”

The land sale is not linked to the securities fraud case currently being probed by a second set of special prosecutors. In that case, Paxton stands accused of soliciting investors for a technology company without disclosing that he was receiving compensation from the firm.

Prosecuting Crimes Against State Officials

According to Texas criminal defense attorney Mick Mickelsen, who is not affiliated with the Paxton case, Texas state officials accused of criminal misconduct may have committed an illegal act in the court of public opinion, but actually be well within the boundaries of the law. Says the Dallas based criminal lawyer “in many cases, state officials are accused of criminal wrongdoing because of things that may cross ethical lines, but not legal ones, as investigative findings often show. That’s why it is imperative to have the right legal defense in order for these cases.”

Paxton’s attorneys moved to appeal the securities fraud indictments earlier this year.

Mickelsen has in previous commentary said of Paxton’s efforts to appeal the indictments, “in order for an appeals court to rule in favor of the defendant they must find that the lower court erred in making its legal determination as opposed to hearing new evidence on which to base their ruling.”

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