Court halts prosecutor fees as Texas AG awaits fraud trial

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A court has halted more than $200,000 to prosecutors in the criminal case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton after one of his donors sued over the mounting legal bills to taxpayers.

The ruling Monday comes as Paxton awaits trial in May on securities fraud charges. The Republican has pleaded not guilty and could be sentenced 5 to 99 years in prison if convicted.

The decision by the Dallas-based Fifth Court of Appeals is at least a temporary victory for Republican-led efforts in Paxton’s hometown to lower the $300 hourly rate to prosecutors. Critics say it’s an effort to derail Paxton’s criminal case.

The lawsuit was brought by Jeffory Blackard, a real estate developer and Paxton supporter.

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The court halted payments until it can review arguments next month.