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TX AG Paxton To Apologize, Pay $3.3M To Staff Charging Corruption

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton agreed to apologize and pay $3.3 million in public funds to four former staffers who accused him of corruption in 2020, starting an ongoing FBI investigation of the three-term Republican, the Associated Press reports. Under a settlement filed Friday, Paxton made no admission of wrongdoing to accusations of bribery and abuse of office, which he has denied and called politically motivated. Paxton did commit to making a public apology to some formerly trusted advisers whom he fired or forced out after they reported him to the FBI. He called them “rogue employees” after they accused Paxton of misusing his office to help one of his campaign contributors, who employed a woman with whom the attorney general acknowledged having an extramarital affair.

“Attorney General Ken Paxton accepts that plaintiffs acted in a manner that they thought was right and apologizes for referring to them as ‘rogue employees,’ ” the final settlement must state. Eight members of Paxton’s senior staff joined in the extraordinary revolt in 2020, either resigning or being fired. The attorney general said he settled with the four who sued under Texas’ whistleblower law to put to rest “this unfortunate sideshow.” The $3.3 million would not come from Paxton’s own pocket but from state funds, which means it would still require approval by the GOP-controlled Texas legislature. The deal comes more than two years after Paxton’s staff accused him of misusing his office to help Austin real estate developer Nate Paul, whose business was under federal investigation. The allegations centered on Paxton hiring an outside lawyer to investigate Paul’s claims of misconduct by the FBI.


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