The attorney general of the state of Texas, Ken Paxton, only took office in January, but could be facing felony charges for violating state securities law while he was a member of the state legislature.
Last year, Paxton had been fined $1,000 and received a reprimand from the State Securities Board for admitting that he had been soliciting clients for Mowrey Capital Management, which was run by a friend, as a member of the legislature.
Critics charged that the punishment was a slap on the wrist and demanded a criminal investigation, but the district attorney’s in both Dallas and Collin County declined to prosecute the case. That led to the appointment of special prosecutors.
That subsequent investigation led to a finding of additional securities fraud of more than and estimated $100,000.
If convicted of the first degree felony, Paxton could conceivably spend up to 99 years in prison and be fined $10,000. However, any jail term will likely be far less shorter.
Paxton had received a large amount of criticism on June 28, when he issued a non-binding opinion that advised judges and county clerks that they would be able to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses if they believed that it violated their religious beliefs.
Just two days earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was now legal on a nationwide basis, which caused Paxton to declare that the Supreme Court was “lawless.” That comment was jumped by his critics as hypocritical in nature.