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The Texas Supreme Court has sided with former top deputies of Attorney General Ken Paxton and cleared the way for their whistleblower lawsuit to move forward.
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected Paxton’s request to dismiss the lawsuit after the case had been on pause pending a possible settlement with the whistleblowers. The decisions came four days after the whistleblowers asked the court to reinstate the case — and about two weeks after Paxton was acquitted in his impeachment trial before the Texas Senate.
The lawsuit will return to a Travis County trial court.
Four whistleblowers sued the attorney general’s office in 2020 for wrongful termination and retaliation after they reported Paxton to the FBI, alleging he abused his office to help a friend and donor, Nate Paul. They almost settled with the attorney general’s office for $3.3 million earlier this year — until Texas House investigators, concerned about using taxpayer dollars for the settlement, started probing the lawsuit’s claims and recommended Paxton’s impeachment.
The series of events effectively froze the case at the Texas Supreme Court. But on Monday, the whistleblowers held a news conference to announce that they were asking the high court to jump start their case in light of Paxton’s acquittal.
“The political trial is over, and it’s time for the case to return to a real court,” whistleblower Blake Brickman said.
The Supreme Court provided no explanation for its decision Friday, noting only that Paxton’s petition for review was denied with Justice Evan Young not participating.
Paxton’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This is a developing story.