Editorials

Wait and see on Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton AP

Like all Texans, Attorney General Ken Paxton deserves his day in court.

Calls for the resignation of Paxton, basically the state’s chief civil attorney, are premature before he faces trial in Collin County in connection with two felony fraud charges over a 2011 stock deal and also over a 2012 securities law violation.

Paxton, free on $35,000 bond, is not the first Texas public official indicted while in office, and an arrest should not force a resignation.

In at least one of the cases, we already know Paxton did it. Before he was elected, he acknowledged the 2012 securities violation and paid a $1,000 civil administrative fine. But the threshold is higher for a criminal conviction, and the appointed special prosecutors must argue whether or why Paxton deserves more punishment.

Republicans knew Paxton was under a cloud when party voters nominated him, and Texas voters knew it when he was elected.

In 1983, Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox was indicted in connection with a bribery case, but remained in office. In 1985, he was acquitted.

Texans deserve faster resolution from the Collin County district court.

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