A Collin County grand jury has asked Travis County prosecutors for investigative files detailing possible criminal violations by Attorney General Ken Paxton in a securities case, NBC 5 has learned.
In a letter, the panel's vice foreman formally asked the Travis County District Attorney's office for its records and said it appeared Collin County was the proper venue.
The grand jury's request signaled the panel had opened an investigation into allegations that Paxton committed a third-degree felony when he referred people to an investment company and received a fee without a license.
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Paxton admitted the violation last year, received a reprimand and paid a small fine. He was never prosecuted, voters elected him despite news coverage about the case and he became attorney general in January.
The grand jury's apparent interest is a surprise because Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis has indicated he saw no reason to investigate the matter.
Willis has faced criticism for not asking for an independent prosecutor. Willis and Paxton are longtime friends and business partners.
News of the grand jury's records request was first revealed Wednesday in a blog by Lavon attorney Ty Clevenger, who has asked for an investigation of Paxton.
Clevenger, a former Justice Department civil rights attorney, said he simply became interested in the case and wants to see justice done.
Paxton spokeswoman Cynthia Meyer did not immediately return a telephone message late Wednesday.