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Lone Star Project Report

Will Feds Examine Ken Paxton’s New York-Style Corruption?

Paxton actions similar to indicted New York Speaker Sheldon Silver

Statement by Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle
"Ken Paxton's corrupt actions are similar to that of an indicted New Yorker, but Paxton doesn't need any lessons in corruption. He figured out how to scam clients and deceive voters all on his own.

Whatever worries Ken Paxton may have about state law enforcement taking action against him, perhaps he should extend those concerns to federal law enforcement as well."

Sheldon Silver, the powerful New York Democratic House Speaker, was arrested last Thursday on federal criminal corruption charges. The actions that led to Silver’s indictment and arrest are very similar to the corrupt activity that has kept Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton under fire since early last year.

The major charge against Silver is that he received, and failed to disclose, income paid through law firms from businesses and individuals who benefitted from his actions as Speaker.

Ken Paxton has already admitted to a felony violation of Texas securities laws. However, Paxton has also refused to release his tax returns or to disclose legal clients who may have benefitted from his official actions as a Member of the Texas Legislature.

The ability of Paxton and other Texas officeholders to hide income from individuals and businesses who have interests before the Legislature may be a loophole in Texas ethics laws, but perhaps not federal law.

The chart below compares the actions of indicted New York Speaker Sheldon Silver with those of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

NY Speaker Sheldon Silver

TX AG Ken Paxton

Official acts to benefit clients:
Silver helped real estate associates obtain tax breaks through the legislature. He also helped secure state research funds to a doctor in return for personal kickbacks.

Official acts to benefit clients:
Paxton helped businesses that he has financial ties with, including sponsoring bills in the legislature.

Failed to properly disclose income:
Silver failed to list payments from his law firms on his state financial disclosure forms.  He also misrepresented direct payments as referral fees from his law firm.

Failed to properly disclose income:
In violation of state securities law and state ethics rules for lawyers, Paxton failed to disclose to clients that he would receive payments from firms he recommended.

Refused to disclose clients:
Even though, personal financial disclosures revealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits from Silver’s outside law practice, he refused to disclose his real estate.

Refused to disclose clients:
Paxton refuses to release his tax returns, thus hiding his clients, his income from them, and other sources of financial gain.


Federal Prosecution Underway

Legal Action Pending?