The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday upheld a decision that allows embattled state Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial to be moved to Houston from his hometown near Dallas.
The charges reach back to 2015. Paxton has spent years fighting to keep the trial on his home turf in Collin County, where he maintains wide Republican support and where his wife Angela Paxton is a state senator.
The special prosecutor in the case, Brian Wice, applauded the court’s ruling. An attorney for Paxton did not respond to a request for comment.
The ruling by Texas’ highest criminal court follows Texas state House lawmakers’ 121-23 vote to impeach Paxton in late May on 20 articles, including bribery, unfitness for office, disregard of official duty and abuse of public trust.
It remains unclear whether Angela Paxton will recuse herself from the state Senate’s upcoming trial, which is scheduled to begin no later than August 28.
Paxton has been under an FBI investigation for corruption. He is accused of using his office to assist a donor. Real estate execute Nate Paul was arrested and booked last week in Austin on an undisclosed felony charge.
If convicted of the securities fraud charges, Paxton faces up to 99 years in prison.