Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has agreed to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution to end criminal securities fraud charges that have been looming over him for almost a decade. Paxton, a Republican, was indicted in 2015 for allegedly duping investors in a tech startup near Dallas. The deal, announced by special prosecutors in a Houston courtroom, requires Paxton to pay full restitution to his victims, complete community service and legal ethics education, in exchange for dropping three felony counts against him. Despite the agreement, Paxton maintains his innocence and insists there will never be a conviction in the case.

Paxton’s attorney, Dan Cogdell, stated that prosecutors would not have been able to prove their case at trial, and it was more cost-effective for Paxton to accept the agreement. Special prosecutor Brian Wice described the deal as a victory that required Paxton to repay investors, including former GOP lawmaker Byron Cook and the estate of Joel Hochberg, a businessman who passed away last year. The resolution of the case marks a significant turn in Paxton’s political fortunes after a turbulent few years marred by legal troubles and impeachment threats.

The securities fraud case has been a shadow over Paxton for much of his time in statewide office. He was accused of defrauding investors in a tech company by not disclosing his financial ties to the company. While legal experts have questioned the severity of the charges, the case has persisted with multiple judges and delays, partly due to Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Despite the resolution of this case, Paxton still faces additional legal challenges, including a federal investigation and a civil lawsuit related to whistleblower claims from former aides.

Paxton has shown political resilience, winning over conservative activists and receiving support from former President Donald Trump. Despite facing fraud charges during his reelection campaigns, Paxton has been reelected as attorney general twice. The case was also set aside during his impeachment trial in the Texas Senate last year. The resolution of the securities fraud charges has brought some closure to a long-standing legal battle, but Paxton’s future remains uncertain as he navigates ongoing legal challenges and political ambitions.

The case against Paxton has had a long and complicated legal history, involving multiple judges and courtrooms over the years. The announcement of the restitution agreement comes as a significant development in the case that has weighed on Paxton’s political career for years. As Paxton looks to move forward from the securities fraud charges, he continues to face scrutiny from federal investigations and potential challenges in his pursuit of higher political office. The resolution of this case may represent a turning point in Paxton’s political career, but the aftermath of the legal battle remains to be seen.

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