Collin County Taxpayers' Tab for Ken Paxton Case Tops a Half-million Dollars

AUSTIN -- The cost of prosecuting Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton now tops $617,000, a hefty price tag that's sure to spur a renewed fight over who should foot the bill.According to a new invoice submitted this week, the three attorneys representing the state of Texas in its criminal lawsuit against Paxton have racked up just more than $460,000 in costs since he was indicted in July 2015. This newest bill of $205,185 included more than a year's worth of fees and expenses.Collin County is also fighting a lawsuit from a taxpayer who wants local officials to refuse to pay the prosecutors their hourly rate. This suit has cost the county an additional $157,000, bringing the grand total of Paxton-related costs to $617,153.Judge Keith Self, who as a member of the commissioners court helps approve the county's budget, said county leaders will discuss paying the bill when they next meet on Jan. 23."This is like a lot of court cases: Nobody is happy with it. I don't care who you are," Self told The Dallas Morning News. "Does that change any of the dynamics of the case? I'm not sure. We'll see when the court meets on the 23rd."Taxpayers in Collin County are on the hook to foot the bill for any costs related to Paxton's prosecution because the attorney general lives in McKinney and that's where his alleged crimes took place. While nearly a year-and-a-half has passed since his indictments, the case has not yet reached trial because Paxton spent that time appealing the charges all the way to the state's highest court.He lost each time, but every appeal meant a further delay for a potential trial on the case's merits. The longer Paxton fought, the more expensive the case became. Collin County taxpayers will continue paying for the prosecution through Paxton's trial, which is scheduled to start May 1.  Continue reading...

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