Texas taxpayers are poised to spend $3.3 million in a settlement with four former employees of the Office of the Attorney General who say they were fired unfairly.
In October 2020, eight of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s top aides accused him of bribery and abuse of office. After being terminated from employment, four of the employees filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Paxton, where they alleged that Paxton did political favors for Nate Paul, a real estate developer and donor, by having his office intervene in his legal disputes.
Paxton, meanwhile, referred to the group as “rogue employees” with “false allegations.”
More than two years later, however, Paxton is poised to settle with the employees.
As part of the terms of the settlement, Paxton will be required to release a statement saying he “accepts that plaintiffs acted in a manner that they thought was right and apologizes for referring to them as ‘rogue employees’.”
The $3.3 million cash portion of the settlement—largely compensation for lost wages over the last 27 months—will need to be approved by the state legislature and paid for with taxpayer dollars.
In a statement, Paxton argued the settlement will save taxpayer dollars in the long run.
“After over two years of litigating with four ex-staffers who accused me in October 2020 of ‘potential’ wrongdoing, I have reached a settlement agreement to put this issue to rest,” said Paxton. “I have chosen this path to save taxpayer dollars and ensure my third term as Attorney General is unburdened by unnecessary distractions. This settlement achieves these goals. I look forward to serving the People of Texas for the next four years free from this unfortunate sideshow.”
Despite the ongoing lawsuit and opposition from the Republican Party’s establishment, Paxton was reelected for a third term in November 2022.