Texas AG Ken Paxton's wife drove him away to avoid being served subpoena, records say

ByEleanor Klibanoff, The Texas Tribune
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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In an affidavit, a process server said that the state's top attorney tried to evade him as he attempted to deliver a subpoena from an abortion fund's lawsuit against the state.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fled his home in a truck driven by his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, to avoid being served a subpoena Monday, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

Ernesto Martin Herrera, a process server, was attempting to serve the state's top attorney with a subpoena for a federal court hearing Tuesday in a lawsuit from nonprofits that want to help Texans pay for abortions out of state.

When Herrera arrived at Paxton's home in McKinney on Monday morning, he told a woman who identified herself as Angela that he was trying to deliver legal documents to the attorney general. She told him that Paxton was on the phone and unable to come to the door. Herrera said he would wait.

Nearly an hour later, a black Chevrolet Tahoe pulled into the driveway, and 20 minutes after that, Ken Paxton exited the house.

"I walked up the driveway approaching Mr. Paxton and called him by his name. As soon as he saw me and heard me call his name out, he turned around and RAN back inside the house through the same door in the garage," Herrera wrote in the sworn affidavit.

Angela Paxton then exited the house, got inside a Chevrolet truck in the driveway, started it and opened the doors.

"A few minutes later I saw Mr. Paxton RAN from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side," Herrera wrote. "I approached the truck, and loudly called him by his name and stated that I had court documents for him. Mr. Paxton ignored me and kept heading for the truck."

Herrera eventually placed the subpoenas on the ground near the truck and told him he was serving him with a subpoena. Both cars drove away, leaving the documents on the ground.

On Twitter, the attorney general said his sudden departure was motivated by concerns for his family's safety.

"It's clear that the media wants to drum up another controversy involving my work as Attorney General, so they're attacking me for having the audacity to avoid a stranger lingering outside my home and showing concern about the safety and well-being of my family," he wrote in a tweet.

Paxton has been under indictment for securities fraud for seven years and faces a whistleblower lawsuit from former top deputies who accused him of abuse of office. Paxton has denied wrongdoing.

He was forced into a runoff for the Republican nomination for another term in office after high-profile Republicans, including former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and Land Commissioner George P. Bush, tried to unseat him. But Republican voters chose him over his intra-GOP challengers, who criticized his legal and personal scandals on the campaign trail.

He faces Democrat Rochelle Garza in November.

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