Denied office workers file whistleblower lawsuit against Ken Paxton of Texas AG.
Mark Penley, former Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, former assistant attorney general for the agency, and David Maxwell, former law enforcement director, have filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that they were early hours of “irregularities, harassment and retaliation.” “Been suspended in November when they were asked to step down from their positions and refused to do so. It came after the two former aides along with six other colleagues reported Paxton to authorities claiming he had broken the law by using the agency to serve the interests of a political donor and real estate investor, Nate Paul. Blake Brickman, who was fired in October, and Ryan Vassar, who is currently on paid vacation, also joined the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs wrote, “Over a period of months, the Attorney General became less rational in his decision-making and unwilling to listen to reasonable objections to his instructions, and placed increasingly unusual priority on matters concerning Paul.” Paul donated $ 25,000 to Paxton’s campaign in 2018, and said in a court filing related to the case, the two “had known each other for years and sometimes had lunch together.” He added, “I think the relationship is positive.”
Photo by Gritte on Unsplash
The lawsuit goes on to say: “Penley and Maxwell were once heads of the agency with 4,000 employees. When they arrived on November 2, staff were told that Maxwell, a police officer for about five decades, could not enter the building armed. Penley was shown up the elevator by an armed guard. For hours, Penley and Maxwell were interrogated by Paxton’s new deputy, Brent Webster, who refused to bring a witness into the room and engaged in a charade under the guise of an administrative investigation, but it was evident that the whistleblowers had complaints about Paxton’s wrongdoing was the driving force. “
Paxton said he had fired aides because of “legitimate issues unrelated to me”. He called the whistleblowers “rogue employees” on “false allegations” and added, “he has not read the lawsuit,” but stated that “everything I have seen is false.” They are claims made by people and these things have to be proven in our American system. “
Brickman attorneys TJ Turner and Tom Nesbitt responded, “Ken Paxton keeps redoing his lies. Fortunately, we don’t think anyone will believe a word they say. We will let our petition, plaintiffs’ reputation, and Ken Paxton’s reputation speak for themselves. “Eight aides reported to law enforcement agencies. Three have since stepped down and another, Lacey Mase, was fired in October.
“The oldest members of the [office of the attorney general] believed in good faith that Paxton was breaking the law and abusing his office to benefit himself and his close friend and campaign donor, ”the plaintiffs wrote. “Paxton reacted to the report immediately and with ferocity, as if deliberately trying to show Texans exactly what retaliation against whistleblowers would look like. More serious violations of the Texas Whistleblower Act are hard to imagine. “
They seek reinstatement and “compensation for lost wages, future loss of income and compensation for emotional pain and suffering”.
Former aides file whistleblower lawsuit for retaliation by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Whistleblower lawsuit reveals new details on allegations against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton