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Ethics Commission May Approve Out-of-State Donations for Texas AG’s Criminal Defense

The Texas Ethics Commission may approve the acceptance of out-of-state donations for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s legal defense. A draft opinion was circulated in advance of a Texas Ethics Commission meeting to be held on Monday, November 30.

The Houston Chronicle reported that an anonymous employee had made the inquiry to the Texas Ethics Commission and the commission is slated to give employees at the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) guidance as it relates to the issue of funding for Paxton’s legal defense.

The draft opinion is reported to lay out rules relating to employees at the OAG to prevent any acceptance of benefits that would violate Texas state law.

The draft opinion is reported to state that donations are acceptable if the person who gives the donation has no other connection with the state then “the act of giving the benefit.”

The person who requested the ethics commission opinion was not identified; however, the subject of the ethics commission request is reportedly presumed to involve Paxton because of the factual circumstances presented. Texas state law prohibits the Office of the Attorney General or any employee from receiving a benefit from anyone the office could regulate.

Paxton is prevented from using campaign funds to pay for his legal defense because the facts in the indictment involve actions that did not occur in his official capacity as a Texas official, at that time, an elected state senator.

As reported by Breitbart Texas in August, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been charged with two first degree counts of securities fraud, and with a third degree felony for failing to register as a securities adviser with the Texas State Securities Board. The indictments relate to actions and events in Collin County prior to the Attorney General (AG) taking office in January of 2015. Paxton was a state senator at the time.

Texas Ethics Commission members are appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, and Texas House speaker.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter LanaShadwick2

 

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