A Texas grand jury has indicted the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, the second set of charges brought against a statewide official in the last year.
Paxton surrendered to authorities in Collin County on Monday morning on two charges of securities fraud in excess of $100,0000 and a third felony charge for advising or representing investors without properly registering, according to booking records. The indictment is expected to be unsealed later Monday afternoon.
The indictment of Paxton, elected to the attorney general’s post in November, comes almost a year after a Travis County grand jury brought charges against Rick Perry. The former Texas governor, now seeking the 2016 Republican nomination, is still facing one felony charge of abuse of power; a second charge was dropped.
Paxton, a Republican, has also at times shared an alliance with the other Texan running for president, Ted Cruz. The Republican senator appeared in a television advertisement during Paxton’s primary battle in 2014 (though Cruz did not endorse him).
The case against Paxton, an attorney and former state senator, began last year when he admitted violating state securities law by soliciting investment clients for the firm of his friend and campaign donor. Though Paxton was referring clients to his associate, he did not register with the state of Texas. He later paid a $1,000 fine.
Paxton has not publicly commented on the charges but his defenders – and Perry’s – have portrayed pending indictments as politically motivated.
“Some of the outrageous events surrounding this sloppy process certainly do not typify the level of quality that Texans expect from our judicial system,” said Aaron Whitehead, spokesman for the Republican Party of Texas. “Ken Paxton, like all Americans, deserves to have his say in a court of law, rather than be judged in a court of public opinion that is presided over by liberal interest groups.”