Texas taxpayers pay $43K bill for AG Paxton’s defense of ‘frivolous’ lawsuit

Bestinau got that-

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Attorney General Ken Paxton has spent at least $43,000 in legal defense costs in response to complaints filed over his botched lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the results of the 2020 election.

Paxton is facing several complaints of professional misconduct over his case against the election results in the battlefields of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. His lawsuit has not disputed the results in Texas. The Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction.

In documents first reported by the Houston Chronicle and obtained by Nexstar through a public request for information, lawyers from two private groups were charged nearly 90 hours for their work responding to the complaints. The highest rate was from the Austin-based Gober Group at $525 per hour. The other group billed was West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry, based in College-Station.

The attorneys of both groups billed the OAG for their work examining and reviewing documents related to the complaints, discussing strategies and potential options, reviewing and preparing correspondence with the Texas State Bar.

One of the complaints was filed by not-for-profit lawyers defending American democracy, as well as 16 lawyers in Texas, 4 of whom were former presidents of the state bar association.

“The purpose in filing the complaint was to take Paxton’s license. He acted unethically against the code of responsibility and used our taxpayers’ money to do it,” said Jim Harrington, one of the attorneys involved in the complaint.

The Texas Constitution requires bar membership to legitimize the office of the Attorney General. Harrington said he believes this will give Paxton fewer reasons to pass these legal costs on to taxpayers.

“It’s embarrassing that he thinks he has the right to spend our taxpayers’ money defending his private law license,” he said. “It won’t have anything to do with his ability to hold office. So it’s his private law license that he now wants Texas taxpayers to pay for his defense and I think that’s just outrageous.”

Paxton has argued that Texas should pay its legal bills because he is the best lawyer in the state.

“By launching a frivolous, partisan and politically motivated mock investigation into my efforts to ensure the integrity of the election, it is the Liberal State Bar who is wasting tax dollars, not me,” Paxton said in a statement sent via text message to a spokesperson. sent. they are burning public money at a rate that far exceeds anything I have to spend to defend myself against their silly games. This is 100% on the State Bar. I stand behind the good work that my team and I are doing.”

Harrington criticized the idea of ​​equating the Texas State Bar with a partisan entity.

“These are all the attorneys of Texas. The attorneys of Texas reflect the people of Texas. This is a conservative state. To be elected president of the State Bar, you have to have the support of that broad base of attorneys, where people are all involved.” across the political spectrum,” he said.

Harrington said his group’s complaint is progressing and will be heard by a district court or administrative panel.

Paxton is in the midst of a re-election campaign and has yet to get through a runoff before officially becoming the Republican Party’s nominee for November. He will face current Home Commissioner George P. Bush in the second round on May 24.

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