State District Judge George Gallagher will remain on the securities fraud case against Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to a spokeswoman for the judge.
It was originally believed Gallagher would have to rule on a request Paxton’s lawyers made this month for a new judge. But the spokeswoman, Melody McDonald Lanier, said Monday that he does not and will continue presiding over the case.
The request came shortly after Gallagher moved Paxton’s trial to Harris County. Prosecutors had successfully sought a venue change, arguing Paxton and his allies had tainted the jury pool in Collin County, where he lives.
Paxton’s lawyers believe Gallagher had been misled into changing the venue.
Gallagher, who is from Tarrant County, has been presiding over the case since its early days in 2015. He replaced Collin County’s Chris Oldner, who recused himself.
Paxton is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. Paxton, who has pleaded not guilty, could face up to 99 years in prison if he’s convicted.
Prosecutors have said they want to hold two trials, first on a lesser charge of failure to register with the state securities board and then on the more serious charges of securities fraud. The trial on the lesser charge is scheduled to begin Sept. 12.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/04/17/despite-ken-paxtons-request-judge-stay-his-case/.