On Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The complaint lists three civil charges related to Paxton’s business dealings. The new charges join the four criminal charges filed against Paxton last year, alleging assorted violations of state securities law. In other words, there have now been seven separate civil and criminal allegations of wrongdoing filed against Texas’s top law enforcement official since he was sworn in as attorney general in January 2015.
Paxton is, of course, innocent until proven guilty. Even so, for an attorney general to rack up so many indictments with such ease and rapidity is in poor taste and raises troubling questions about his efficacy as manager.
With that said, Paxton is not the only person with some culpability in Texas’s most recent public pratfall. The federal charges, like the state criminal ones, are related to business dealings that transpired well before Paxton was elected attorney general, in 2014, and were reported before he even secured the Republican nomination. The voters who ignored those facts at the time have only themselves to blame.
*Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated that Paxton faced felony charges. The charges filed against him are, in fact, civil charges. We regret the error.