Texas AG Paxton to pay $3.3M settlement to whistleblowers
BY JULIA SHAPERO – 02/10/23 4:51 PM ET
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) reached a tentative settlement with four ex-employees on Friday, agreeing to pay them $3.3 million after they were fired for reporting him for alleged bribery and abuse of office.
In addition to the multimillion-dollar payment, Paxton agreed to provide a statement saying that he “accepts that plaintiffs acted in a manner that they thought was right and apologizes for referring to them as ‘rogue employees.’”
The Texas attorney general also agreed to take down a press release that similarly referred to the whistleblowers as rogue employees.
The settlement comes more than two years after the four former employees filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Paxton, accusing him of retaliating against them for reporting the alleged misconduct.
In total, eight of Paxton’s employees accused him of abusing his office to “improperly interfere in the civil disputes and criminal matters” of an Austin real estate investor that was “his donor, friend and personal benefactor,” according to court documents. All of these employees were either fired or resigned.
“The whistleblowers sacrificed their jobs and have spent more than two years fighting for what is right,” T.J. Turner, the attorney for former employee David Maxwell, said in a statement. “We believe the terms of the settlement speak for themselves.”Biden, Lula focus on democracy, climate during visitTrump legal team turns over additional classified materials to federal prosecutors: reports
Paxton, who secured reelection in November, said in a statement on Friday that he chose to settle the case in order to “save taxpayer dollars and ensure my third term as Attorney General is unburdened by unnecessary distractions.”
“This settlement achieves these goals,” he added. “I look forward to serving the People of Texas for the next four years free from this unfortunate sideshow.”
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