PROMO State - Texas Road Sign - iStock - gguy44

Texas Attorney General gets deal but legal issues not over

© iStock - gguy44
Freda Ross

Click play to listen to this article.

Audio file

(Texas News Service) Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has emerged from a long court case with another win.

After nine years and multiple delays, prosecutors are going to drop securities fraud charges against the embattled official. As part of the deal, Paxton must perform 100 hours of community service, pay almost $300,000 in restitution and take advanced legal education courses.

PROMO 64 Legal - Court Room Justice Law - iStock - keeton12

© iStock - keeton12

Dan Cogdell, attorney for Ken Paxton, said they welcomed the deal.

"It is not a plea bargain, he didn't plead," Cogdell emphasized. "There is no admission of guilt, there will never be an admission of guilt, because he's not guilty."

In 2015, Paxton was accused of persuading investors to buy stock in a tech startup, without disclosing he would be compensated for the deal. He was also accused of steering clients to a friend's investment advising business without registering with the Texas State Securities Board.

The deal is the second recent legal ruling in Paxton's favor. Six months ago, he was acquitted on 16 corruption charges in an impeachment trial in the Texas Senate but he has not been cleared of all accusations against him. Paxton is being sued by four of his former deputies, who say they were fired after making reports to the FBI he was using his office to help a supporter.

Cal Jillson, professor of political science at Southern Methodist University, said the federal investigation will be handled differently.

"They're taking their time turning over all the rocks," Jillson observed. "If they think there has been illegal behavior on the part of the attorney general, that will be a much different process than the political process that we saw in the Texas Senate."

Despite his legal troubles, Paxton has remained a popular politician. He's been reelected two times since he was indicted. Prosecutors in the case said if Paxton does not comply with the terms of the deal, he could still be tried on the original fraud charges.