AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Judge George Gallagher will remain on the Ken Paxton case when it gets underway in Houston this September, despite attempts by the Texas attorney general’s legal team to have the judge removed. Paxton was indicted in 2015 on felony securities fraud charges.
Gallagher moved the trial out of the conservative Collin County suburbs where Paxton lives, taking it to Houston instead. The judge explained that there had been too much pre-trial publicity to keep the case in North Texas. “Harris County was selected because the lead counsel for the state and the defense are located there,” Gallagher said.
Paxton has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he duped investors in a McKinney technology startup. Jury selection is now scheduled to begin on September 11 in Houston. If convicted, Paxton may face between five and 99 years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
After the trial’s location was moved, the Texas attorney general’s defense team had requested that Gallagher be removed from the case as well.
The charges came against Paxton just six months after he took office as Texas attorney general. His trial will get started just as re-election season gets into full swing.