Paxton gets new judge in securities fraud case

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has received a new judge in his securities fraud case.

Harris County District Judge Robert Johnson's court has been assigned to the case, according to Bill Murphy, a spokesman for the county district clerk.

Paxton's lawyers had fought for months to get rid of the previous judge, George Gallagher, who had presided over the case since its early days in 2015. They were finally successful last week when the state's highest criminal court declined to overturn an appeals court ruling backing their push for a new judge.

Last year, Johnson, a Democrat, narrowly unseated a Republican incumbent, Ryan Patrick, the son of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Paxton, a Republican, has been fighting the securities fraud charges for almost two years. He is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. If convicted, he faces up to 99 years in prison.

Before the judge shakeup, Paxton had been set to go to trial on Sept. 12 in Houston on the lesser of three charges he faces.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

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