The Attorney General for Texas is Ken Paxton who works for defending the State of Texas and its duly elected laws by providing legal representation to the State, serving the children of Texas through the enforcement of the state’s child support laws, securing justice for Texans, protecting Texans from waste, fraud, and abuse, and safeguarding the freedoms of Texans as guaranteed by the United States and Texas constitutions.
The Attorney General of Texas is the state’s chief legal officer. To fulfill the agency’s constitutional and statutory responsibilities, the OAG provides legal representation, counsel, and assistance to fulfill the needs of the State of Texas and its authorized entities and employees, including state officers, state agencies, and institutions of higher education. The OAG responds to the litigation needs of the State of Texas by defending and enforcing Texas law using appropriate pre-trial, trial, and appellate actions. The OAG also provides appropriate legal advice and answers to legal questions posed by state agencies and authorized office holders including the issuance of formal opinions and open records letters and decisions.
There are thirteen civil and defense litigation divisions at the Office of the Attorney General. They perform a wide variety of functions ranging from prosecuting antitrust violations to providing representation to other state agencies.
As the statutorily-designated child support enforcement agency for the State of Texas, the Office of the Attorney General Child Support Division (CSD) is responsible for the establishment and enforcement of child support. All states that receive federal funding for Temporary Assistance.
A key component of the Office of the Attorney General’s mission is to secure justice for Texans by investigating and prosecuting criminal activities, including crimes of human trafficking, internet crimes against children, election fraud, and assisting local law enforcement in prosecutions and appeals. Attorney General prosecutors are experienced trial attorneys with a strong track record in both state and federal court.
The Office of the Attorney General conducts criminal investigations and apprehensions including cases involving cyber-crimes such as child pornography, online solicitation of minors, identity theft, election fraud, locating and apprehending convicted sex offenders who have failed to comply with mandated sex offender registration requirements, and conducting digital forensics investigations. The Office of the Attorney General also operates the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit which investigates criminal fraud by Medicaid providers, abuse and neglect of patients in health care facilities operated by the Medicaid program, and helps local and federal authorities with prosecutions.
The OAG serves victims of crime through direct compensation payments, victim assistance, and grants to victims assistance providers.
Colonias are substandard housing developments, often found along the Texas-Mexico border, where residents lack basic services such as drinking water, sewage treatment, and paved roads. The State of Texas has undertaken a number of programs to remedy the conditions in existing colonias and to prevent new colonias, including authorizing enforcement lawsuits by the Office of the Attorney General. In addition, the Office created and maintains an extensive Colonia Geographic Database for the border region.
The Office of the Attorney General operates Administrative Divisions that maintain the core agency functions such as accounting and budgeting, contract management and procurement, information technology and management, and internal audit. These divisions provide key support for the OAG program divisions in a consistent and effective manner.
Ken Paxton is the 51st Attorney General of Texas. He was elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn into office on January 5, 2015.
As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Paxton leads more than 4,000 employees in 38 divisions and 117 offices around Texas. That includes nearly 750 attorneys, who handle more than 30,000 cases annually – enforcing child support orders, protecting Texans against consumer fraud, enforcing open government laws, providing legal advice to state officials, and representing the state of Texas in court, among other things.
His first major initiative as attorney general was the formation of a special unit dedicated to combating human trafficking in Texas. During its first year of existence, the Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime (HTTOC) section helped arrest the chief executive officer of Backpage.com and coordinated to facilitate the permanent shut down of Backpage.com, the largest online sex-trafficking marketplace in the United States.
Under Attorney General Paxton’s leadership, the agency’s Child Support Division is recognized as the most successful and cost-effective program in the nation. In fiscal year 2017, the division collected more than $4 billion for Texas families – an unprecedented amount in one year by any state. This success helped Texas taxpayers avoid over $1 billion in additional public assistance costs.
Attorney General Paxton is focused on protecting Texans and upholding Texas laws and the Constitution. Fighting federal overreach, he filed 22 lawsuits against the Obama administration during a two-year stretch, of which five were heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. During his tenure in office, Attorney General Paxton has won major cases for Texas on immigration, school rights, EPA rules and religious freedom. Stopping the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Regional Haze” rule averted higher energy rates for Texans. Businesses were protected and jobs preserved in Texas when Attorney General Paxton prevailed against the Department of Labor’s “Overtime” rule. Attorney General Paxton led a successful multi-state coalition against the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would have increased consumer prices for electricity and weakened the power grid in Texas.
In 2016, Attorney General Paxton secured a final settlement of $50 million in the state’s lawsuit against VW over its emissions cheating scandal. Texas also stands to benefit from as much as $191 million from VW for projects designed to mitigate environmental harm done by the carmaker. Attorney General Paxton has been aggressive in his approach to protecting the health and safety of Texans from illegal synthetic drugs. His office has filed more than a dozen lawsuits to block the sale of synthetic cannabinoids (known as Kush and Spice) in Texas. The agency’s website provides Texans with the information and resources they need to become fully informed about the dangers of synthetic drugs and the opioid painkiller abuse crisis.
Attorney General Paxton graduated from Baylor University, where he served as student body president, earning a B.A. in psychology and an M.B.A. After receiving a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, he worked as an attorney at Strasburger & Price, LLP, in-house counsel for J.C. Penney Company, and headed up his own law firm for 14 years in McKinney.
First elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002, Attorney General Paxton represented House District 70 for 10 years, one of the fastest-growing regions in the state. In 2012, he was elected to the Texas state Senate, representing Senate District 8 in Collin and Dallas counties.
He met his wife Angela, a current candidate for State Senate and a former teacher and guidance counselor at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco, while they were students at Baylor. The Paxtons have four children: Tucker, Abby, Mattie, and Katie. They are members of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.
Information Provided By Texas Office Of Attorney General Official Website
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