Collin County stiffs lawyer in Paxton case

The lawyer representing the lawyers prosecuting Attorney General Ken Paxton may have a hard time collecting on his latest bill, after the Collin County Commissioners Court had approval of the payment removed from its agenda yesterday.

Attorney David Feldman, who is best known for his role in the Houston pastors subpoena scandal, submitted a bill for $19,986.36 last month, payable by Collin County taxpayers.

Feldman has already collected $82,347 for his work defending the pay arrangement of the three court-appointed prosecutors from a legal challenge, along with miscellaneous other work.

Those payments were made by order of District Judge George Gallagher, who had been overseeing the Paxton prosecution until recently, when an appeals court ruled he had no authority to stay on the case.

The Fifth District Court of Appeals ruled that Gallagher lost jurisdiction when he transferred the case to Harris County in April, and that “all orders and directives issued after he signed the April 11, 2017 transfer order are void and should be vacated.”

One of those was a May 5 order approving Feldman’s latest invoice and directing the county auditor to pay it.

County Auditor Jeff May alerted the commissioners on May 12 that he had received the order and was putting payment approval on the commissioners’ June 5 agenda. But last week, he emailed the commissioners that “(i)n In light of the Dallas Court of Appeals order,” he was removing the invoice from the agenda.

The commissioners did meet in closed session Monday to discuss Feldman’s invoice, but took no action.

Meanwhile, the three attorneys who have been prosecuting Paxton, have filed a 160-page appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals seeking to have Gallagher reinstated, arguing jurisdictional questions.

Jon Cassidy can be reached at [email protected]org.