AUSTIN (KXAN/Nexstar) — Former top deputies who were fired by Attorney General Ken Paxton after reporting him to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced plans to move forward with their lawsuit on Monday, vowing to continue their legal battle in a “real court” after the attorney general was acquitted on impeachment charges in the Senate.
The employees were fired by Paxton after making “good faith” reports to the FBI about alleged actions taken by Paxton for the benefit of Austin-area real estate developer Nate Paul.
The announcement comes after Paxton was acquitted on Sept. 16 in a Texas Senate impeachment trial. Whistleblowers testified during that trial.
Whistleblower Blake Brickman said that “our judge will not receive $3 million,” adding jurors will not have their careers threatened and Paxton will have to testify or plead the fifth.
“We cannot allow this state to be corrupt. As a conservative Republican who has been in the trenches, Ken Paxton is not my standard there,” Brickman said during the press conference.
He also called Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s post-Paxton verdict speech “shocking.”
Whistleblower Mark Penley slammed Paxton for not testifying and being absent for most of the trial, challenging his former boss to answer questions about the evidence in a “neutral venue,” as Paxton has been making his post-verdict media rounds on conservative talk shows.
“When does Ken Paxton go under oath? When does he come give a press conference to any media members who want to show up and ask direct question?” Penley said. “We stand behind our testimony and we just what we want is justice.”
A spokesperson for the OAG said the office would not be commenting or “staging a press event in the state Capitol” in response to the whistleblowers, but pointed to written legal responses that will be filed with the Texas Supreme Court.
Earlier Monday, lawyers at the attorney general’s office asked the Texas Supreme Court to keep the case in abatement, or halted, for two more years in response to the whistleblowers’ motion to lift the abatement.
“Instead, OAG asks the Court to maintain the abatement ‘at least one additional legislative session’ and perhaps ‘multiple sessions’ in the hopes that some future Legislature may authorize funding,” the OAG response said.