A lot of the alleged misconduct detailed within the articles of impeachment filed towards Lawyer Common Ken Paxton facilities on his relationship with an actual property investor, Nate Paul.
Not way back, Mr. Paul, who in 2018 donated $25,000 to Mr. Paxton’s marketing campaign, was heralded as probably the most profitable younger actual property entrepreneurs in Austin, Texas.
His authorized troubles got here into public view in 2019 when F.B.I. brokers raided his 9,175-square-foot house and his downtown places of work in an inquiry whose particulars they declined to reveal.
Investigators with a Texas Home committee testified this week that Mr. Paul had requested his buddy, Mr. Paxton, to assist him discover out particulars of the federal investigations, a possible violation of the state’s open data legal guidelines.
Mr. Paul is at present contending with a slew of lawsuits and chapter proceedings.
Forbes known as him a “real estate prodigy” in 2017 when he was 30 years outdated, estimating that his firm owned $1.2 billion in actual property belongings. He based the corporate, World Class Holdings, in 2007 and 10 years later had amassed 10 million sq. toes of business area, together with a big stock of self-storage amenities, in accordance with Forbes.
His enterprise was constructed partially on shopping for properties at low costs with low rates of interest within the wake of the 2008 monetary disaster. He ultimately expanded his empire to at the least 17 states, from California to New York.
However the varied investigations into Mr. Paul have been accompanied by monetary setbacks. Based on The Austin Enterprise Journal, at the least 18 entities related to World Class Holdings have filed for chapter safety.
In March, Mr. Paul narrowly prevented spending 10 days in jail for contempt of court docket in a civil fraud case filed by an Austin nonprofit that had invested in one in every of his enterprises; an appeals court docket granted him a keep. Mr. Paul has denied any wrongdoing within the case and has additionally complained that the F.B.I. raid was illegal and with out justification.
His attraction to Mr. Paxton for assistance on that matter is likely one of the key parts of the impeachment case towards the lawyer common.
Mr. Paxton not solely organized a gathering between Mr. Paul and the native district lawyer’s workplace, he additionally appointed a particular prosecutor to look into Mr. Paul’s allegations about regulation enforcement, in accordance with investigators who testified earlier than a Texas Home committee.
The lawyer common’s intervention on behalf of his buddy alarmed attorneys in his workplace, who later filed a whistle-blower complaint. It additionally emerged that Mr. Paxton had really useful a possible worker to Mr. Paul — a girl with whom Mr. Paxton was having a relationship — and she or he was subsequently employed at Mr. Paul’s firm as a mission supervisor, in accordance with a deposition in a court docket case.
Allegations by members of Mr. Paxton’s workers additionally surfaced that Mr. Paul helped Mr. Paxton with renovations on his home, together with $20,000 in new granite counter tops. In authorized filings, the whistle-blowers stated that Mr. Paul “both personally or by a building firm he owns and controls” aided within the transforming mission.
Mr. Paxton additionally employed an out of doors counsel, who referred to himself as a particular prosecutor, to research, amongst different issues, the F.B.I. raid on Mr. Paul’s home and workplace. The hiring came to visit the objections of members of Mr. Paxton’s workers, who stated it could be improper.
David Montgomery contributed reporting.