Judge refuses to toss charges against Texas attorney general

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Criminal charges against Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are now set to drag into 2016 after a judge refused to throw out the case.

The ruling Friday puts Paxton closer to standing trial on allegations that he defrauded wealthy investors before becoming the state’s top prosecutor earlier this year. He faces 5 to 99 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charges.

State District Judge George Gallagher rejected arguments that secret grand jury proceedings this summer were compromised and claims that Paxton was covered under federal securities law.

Paxton attorney Bill Mateja says they’re considering whether to appeal the ruling.

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Paxton is accused of encouraging investors to put money into a high-tech startup without disclosing he was being paid by the company. He has pleaded not guilty.