Austin, October 5 – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will likely resign this week, according to two sources inside of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office, The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, learned Sunday afternoon. Paxton faces serious allegations of bribery, abuse of power, and improper influence from his own top-level staff inside of the Attorney General’s Office.
Seven key members of Paxton’s office resigned over the weekend after they had provided a whistleblower letter to the Human Resources Department within Paxton’s state agency. A copy of the letter is at the end of this article.
Jeffrey Mateer, the First Assistant Attorney General and Paxton’s top aide, was among the seven attorneys who signed the letter on October 1, 2020, accusing the Attorney General of “improper influence, abuse of office, bribery, and other potential criminal offenses.” They have also notified federal and state law enforcement officials of the factual basis of their allegations.
In addition to Mateer, Mateer’s Deputy Ryan Bangert, James Blake Brickman, Lacey Mase, Darren McCarty, Mark Penley and Ryan Vassar, who are Deputy Attorneys General overseeing the divisions of Policy, Administration, Civil Litigation, Criminal Investigations and Legal Counsel.
This newspaper also confirmed that Paxton’s longtime political consultant Jordan Barry has resigned from representation of the Attorney General.
Texas Governor Abbott will have the right to appoint a replacement for Paxton, under Article IV, Section 12(a), of the Texas Constitution, if Paxton should resign. The new Attorney General would hold the position until Paxton’s current term expires on December 21, 2022. One source inside the State Capitol has suggested Governor Abbott will appoint Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman to succeed Paxton.