Four former aides have accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of helping a donor with business affairs in exchange for help with a home remodel and a job for the legal officer’s mistress.
The Texas Tribune reported Thursday it had obtained a court filing that revealed for the first time what the four aides believe Paxton received in exchange for favors.
An updated version of a lawsuit filed by the four former senior aides after they were fired late last year claimed Austin, Texas, real estate developer Nate Paul helped Paxton remodel his house and gave a job to a woman with whom Paxton allegedly had an affair.
The suit said the woman had no previous experience in the construction industry, “much less managing construction projects.”
The whistleblowers alleged Paxton used his office to help Paul’s business interests, investigate Paul’s adversaries and help settle a lawsuit.
The former aides describe Paxton’s actions as a “bizarre, obsessive use of power.”
“Some of Paxton’s actions directing the [Office of the Attorney General] to benefit Paul were criminal without regard to motive,” the amended petition reads. “Others were so egregious and so contrary to appropriate use of his office, that they could only have been prompted by illicit motives such as a desire to repay debts, pay hush money, or reciprocate favors extended by Paul.”
Former Paxton aides James Brickman, David Maxwell, J. Mark Penley, and Ryan Vassar filed a lawsuit against Paxton after being fired in November. They claimed they were let go in retaliation for reporting Paxton’s behavior to federal and state law enforcement agencies.
The former aides told authorities they believed Paxton abused his power to help friend and political donor Paul, who gave $25,000 to Paxton’s 2018 reelection campaign.
The FBI reportedly was investigating the renovations done to Paxton’s home, according to The Associated Press.
Paxton previously dismissed the plaintiffs as “rogue employees” wielding “false allegations.”
“Any accusations that the Attorney General acted contrary to the law are completely false and they will be proven false in court,” Ian Prior, a political spokesperson for Paxton, told the Tribune in a statement Thursday.
The whistleblowers previously claimed the attorney general hired a Houston defense attorney to review complaints Paul made alleging he had been mistreated by federal and state law enforcement officials when his home and business were raided by the FBI in 2019. Top aides, who found “no credible evidence” Paul’s rights were violated, said hiring the lawyer to investigate Paul’s claims was unusual and improper.
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