Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton abused his office to benefit himself, a high-end campaign donor and a woman with whom he was reportedly having an affair before retaliating against seven top aides who reported him to the FBI, a lawsuit by four former senior employees claims.
The whistleblower lawsuit, filed Thursday in state District Court in Travis County, is the latest issue to beset Paxton in the past month after seven agency executives notified him in early October that they believed he engaged in several crimes, including bribery and improper influence in dealings with Austin investor Nate Paul. Their report to federal agents touched off weeks of political fallout for Paxton, including calls for his resignation by some fellow Republicans, and an ongoing investigation.
The suit accuses Paxton not only of abuse of office but also says he responded to the allegations by attempting to destroy the careers of his top brass.
“Paxton falsely smeared the whistleblowers publicly in the manner calculated to harm them most, threatened them, tried to intimidate them, and engaged in all manner of retaliation ranging from serious to petty and pathetic,” the 37-page suit said.
In a statement this week, Paxton denied wrongdoing and said he had a legitimate involvement with Paul.