Texas AG’s call for chairman’s resignation is ‘last ditch effort to save face’ – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Texas AG’s call for chairman’s resignation is ‘last ditch effort to save face’ – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan’s office said Tuesday’s calls for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s resignation are a last-ditch effort to save face ahead of a Wednesday morning hearing with an investigative committee. of the House considering its $3.3 million whistleblower settlement.

Paxton tweeted Tuesday afternoon that Phelan should step down and accused him of presiding over the Texas House “in an apparent debilitating state of inebriation.” Paxton released his statement just before 3 p.m. on Twitterclaiming that the president’s conduct “has had a negative impact on the legislative process and constitutes a dereliction of duty to the public”.

The Attorney General’s office confirmed to NBC 5 that they were referring to a video of Phelan (R-Beaumont, District 21) that had been shared on social media that appeared to show the speaker confusing his words on the slides while that the House was nearing the end. a 14 hour session.

“While I hope President Phelan gets the help he needs, he has proven himself untrustworthy by Texans and unable to lead the Texas House,” Paxton wrote.

The Attorney General also asked for an investigation in the speaker by the Texas House General Investigative Committee, which includes allies of the speaker, for allegedly violating house rules and state law and for conduct unbecoming of his position.

Phelan, meanwhile, continued to preside over the House on Tuesday as lawmakers worked on the bills in the final days of the session. It wasn’t until around 5:30 p.m. that the president’s office responded to the general’s tweet, telling NBC 5 that the Texas House General Investigation Committee had sent a preservation letter to Paxton’s office on Tuesday to make sure that all evidence and communications related to a whistleblower settlement reached earlier this year must not be destroyed or concealed.

Committee chairman Andrew Murr said on Tuesday that the committee issued a notice last Friday of a hearing scheduled for Wednesday at 8 a.m. to hear evidence related to “Matter A.”

“The committee minutes and official House documents indicate that the committee has been investigating ‘Question A’ since March – and the motives and timing of Paxton’s statement today could not be more apparent,” said Cait Wittman, director of communications for President Phelan. “As noted in the attached preservation letter, the committee is conducting a thorough review of the events related to the whistleblower firings in addition to the alleged unlawful conduct of Ken Paxton. Committee minutes show that subpoenas have been issued. to little more than a last ditch effort to save face.”

Paxton is being investigated by the FBI on charges from several former aides who have accused him of bribery and misusing his office to help a donor. Paxton denied the allegations and agreed in February to settle a lawsuit with his accusers for $3.3 million. That money, however, is dependent on House lawmakers approving the use of taxpayer money for the settlement.

Phelan has previously expressed discomfort with taxpayers footing the bill.

The current 88th legislative session ends on May 29.


NBC 5 and Associated Press.

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