The state's highest criminal court agreed Wednesday to intervene in prosecutors' long-running fight to get paid for their handling of the securities fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The move by the state's Court of Criminal Appeals could have a major impact on the separate case against Paxton. The prosecutors have suggested they will bail on that case if they cannot get paid.
Prosecutors asked the Court of Criminal Appeals in September to reverse a ruling from a lower court that voided a six-figure invoice for work that goes back to January 2016. The prosecutors said the decision by the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals was a “clear abuse of discretion.”
For more than two years, Paxton has been fighting allegations that he misled investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. Paxton, who has pleaded not guilty, could face up to 99 years in prison if convicted.
Paxton has been cleared in a similar, civil case on the federal level.
In the state's criminal case, Paxton is currently awaiting a trial after its date has been delayed three times.
The prosecutors' pay has been under fire for a long time. Paxton supporter Jeff Blackard has repeatedly sought to limit payments to the prosecutors through a series of lawsuits, arguing excessive taxpayer money is going toward the case. The prosecutors have contended that Paxton's side is trying to ultimately defund their efforts.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.
Texas Tribune mission statement
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.