The race for power, politics and money, make people do funny things – things they may not normally do. Things that may make hiring a securities lawyer in Texas a priority. Things like violating the Texas Securities Act. State Sen. Ken Paxton (R-Texas) finds himself perilously close to this situation now according to this article published online in the Texas Tribune. A candidate for Texas attorney general, Paxton now finds himself facing a disciplinary order for “soliciting investment clients without being registered as required by law.” While his “reprimand,” which consists of a $1,000 fine and a required promise to “disclose in writing his paid solicitor relationship to any clients he refers to an investment adviser” may, for now, be a slap on the wrist, it’s still probably a good idea to look up a good securities lawyer in Texas, given the potential media-based fall out and valuable counsel an expert attorney could provide.
Especially since in Paxton’s case, it seems as though investigative journalism may have been key in outing his secret in the first place. The disciplinary order by the Texas State Securities Board came almost exactly two weeks after the Texas Tribune published the results of an investigation into “various disclosure lapses” by Paxton.
Since then, Paxton seems to be laying low, being proactive about his image and playing by the rules according to attorneys analyzing the situation, like Douglas Shumway, a securities lawyer in Texas. Immediately after the Tribune released its findings, Paxton’s campaign spokesperson announced that it had taken on the responsibility of communicating the Tribune’s concerns directly to the state board. He asked to be treated “like every other citizen of the state.” Subsequently, after the reprimand was issued, Paxton waived his right to appeal the order, duly accepting his fine and public admonishment. He and his campaign team sees the issue as resolved.
Legally, it may be. Securities attorneys like Shumway point to state regulations that specify “any enforcement activities related to the assessment of an administrative fine must be commenced within five years after the violation occurred.” Which is lucky for Paxton, considering evidence turned up that he engaged in unregistered solicitation activities on at least three distinct occasions: in 2004, 2005 and 2012. For only the most recent one can Paxton be held accountable.
Paxton is a lawyer himself, so it’s fair to say he knows better, and his humble acceptance of the consequences of his actions is affording him some dignity as his political career seems poised to crumble. A securities lawyer in Texas can verify his transgressions against the state’s laws, but it’s still unclear whether Paxton’s actions violated federal securities laws as well, which have been rapidly changing in recent years and have different registration and disclosure requirements.
Runoff election opponent state Rep. Dan Branch of Dallas has called for Paxton to “break his silence and address whether he has also broken federal securities laws and whether he is disqualified from serving as Texas attorney general.” Paxton and his campaign team have yet to come forth with an answer.