As high-level aides in the Texas Attorney General’s office continue to expose AG Ken Paxton’s criminal use of the office for personal gain, Chip Roy’s history with Paxton is under renewed scrutiny. Roy’s departure from the Attorney General’s office in 2016 was clouded by accusations that he received “hush money” from Paxton, in the form of undeserved benefits.
Roy was hired by Paxton in January 2015 and left the AG’s office in March 2016, but remained on the state’s payroll for more than a month afterwards—even though he had gone to work for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. Paxton gave Roy the option to retain his salary and taxpayer-funded state health insurance through June, but when the Dallas Morning News reported on the curious arrangement, Roy was finally taken off the payroll:
Amid growing questions over whether the deal was legal, officials Friday said Charles “Chip” Roy, Paxton’s former first assistant attorney general, officially would be removed from the state payroll effective April 7 — just over a week ago — when all but an hour and a half of his accrued vacation and leave time ran out.
Texas laws prohibit state agencies from using taxpayer funds to pay employees who are not working or to “finance or otherwise support the candidacy of a person” for a state or federal office.
Speculation at the time was that Paxton forced Roy and other top aides out for upstaging him while Paxton was out of the office addressing his indictment for securities fraud.
Now, even though Roy has received campaign money from Nate Paul, the same businessman involved in the Paxton bribery allegations, he has rushed to condemn his former boss, calling for Paxton to step down while the new criminal allegations against him are investigated. Paxton has refused to do so. Given that Roy has never previously spoken out against his old boss as Paxton fought multiple felony indictments, the timing of his call to resign is striking. Are there more unsavory deals from Roy’s time in the AG’s office that haven’t been made public? If so, Roy’s sudden desire for Paxton to leave may be a sign that he’s worried what further investigation could reveal about his own past.