TEXAS: AG Ken Paxton Faces New Bribery Probe

The Dallas Morning News reports:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is being investigated under bribery and corrupt influence laws for accepting a six-figure gift from an individual who was under investigation by the state for fraud, the district attorney leading the probe confirmed Thursday.

In July 2016, Austin-based medical device company Preferred Imaging, LLC agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement after a multi-year Medicaid and Medicare fraud investigation. The year before, Preferred Imaging’s CEO James Webb had given $100,000 to help Paxton fight criminal fraud charges the attorney general has been battling since July 2015.

On Thursday, Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Wiley confirmed to The Dallas Morning News that she has been investigating whether Paxton broke state laws that put limits on gifts public servants can receive from people “subject to (their) jurisdiction” in connection to the Webb donation.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

State officials are broadening their investigation of Attorney General Ken Paxton by looking into his $500,000 legal defense fund, a special prosecutor said Wednesday.

The investigation raises questions about whether state officials have made new findings, or are considering bringing additional charges against the Republican who has accepted money from people he describes as family friends to fuel his legal defense.

“Some of that money collected is part of another investigation,” Kent Schaffer, one of three special prosecutors building a case against Paxton, told Judge Robert Johnson in open court during a hearing to delay the trial.

A probe into the embattled first-term Republican’s legal defense fund is the newest development in the more than two-year old case against Paxton, who is accused of securities fraud and failing to register with the state as an investment adviser. Paxton is expected to face trial in 2018.