Despite Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s insistence to move forward on his securities trial, the start date has unjustly been delayed, yet again, because of political theater and prosecutorial games.

Two years ago, Paxton was indicted on fraud charges for failing to properly identify that he was an investment advisor and receiving a commission for his work. These are not crimes, yet Paxton was nonetheless indicted for them.

The case is a prime example of political prosecution with allegations against the special prosecutors of misleading the grand jury, venue shopping, and intentional delays of the trial. Paxton’s original trial date was May 1, but when the prosecution sought and was granted a venue change, it was postponed to Sept 11. Then, the presiding judge was disqualified, forcing the trial to be pushed to Dec 11, and now it is expected to begin sometime in early 2018 as the prosecutor’s blamed Hurricane Harvey for their latest delay tactics.

In the most recent filing to oppose the request for delay, Paxton’s team said, “Each time Paxton has been ready and anxious for his day in court. Each time he has asserted his right to a speedy trial. Yet each time the attorneys pro tem have attempted to further delay the proceeding.”

All along Paxton has maintained that he wants the trial to move forward, and as soon as possible as taxpayers are the ones funding the ever-increasing costs of these court delays. “With the literally ‘hundreds of hours’ they have billed the Collin County taxpayers for the prosecution of this case, this has gone far enough,” Paxton said in his most recent filing.

Taxpayers deserve better than to have their money spent on an unnecessarily drawn-out political prosecution, but, more importantly, Paxton deserves his right to a fair, just, and speedy proceeding.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.