The responsibilities, of the Office of the Attorney General, are to serve as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issue legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies, and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes.
The Texas AG sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.
Many Texans look to the Office of the Attorney General for guidance with disputes and legal issues. The agency receives hundreds of letters, phone calls, and visits each week about crime victims’ compensation, child support, abuse in nursing homes, possible consumer fraud, and other topics.
To find out more about the Texas Attorney General, visit the official website at https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/.
AG Paxton’s Law Enforcement Round-Up
The Child Exploitation Unit
Isidro Ibarra Moreno, 35, of San Antonio, was arrested for five counts of Possession of Child Pornography on July 14. This case was received as a NCMEC CyberTipline report involving the upload of child pornography to an email account. After executing a search warrant, investigators submitted a digital media device to be examined by the Digital Forensics Unit. Moreno was transported to the Bexar County Jail where he was booked without incident.
The Human Trafficking Unit
Jason Alan McCord, 50, of Athens, was arrested for Sexual Assault of a Child on July 15. This case was received as a request for investigative assistance from a local Child Advocacy Center after a minor child was discovered to be a victim of domestic minor sex trafficking.?During the investigation, it was also discovered that McCord was recording the assault on his cellphone. McCord was transported to the Henderson County Jail.
California, Daniel Paul Stanberry, 43, of Athens, was arrested on an outstanding warrant. The Human Trafficking Unit and the Arlington Fugitive Apprehension Unit attempted to locate Stanberry in Athens but learned that he was in Riverside, California. When contacted by Texas officials, Riverside Police Department officers arrested Stanberry on the next day, July 16.
The Fugitive Apprehension Unit
Hayes Charles Smith was arrested in Irving on July 14. Smith had outstanding warrants for two counts of Human Trafficking issued by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and one count of Human Trafficking issued by the Irving Police Department.
Lee Darren Griffin was arrested in Rowlett on July 14. Griffin had an outstanding warrant for Indecency with a Child issued by the Garland Police Department.
Alfred Guerrero was arrested in San Antonio on July 14. Guerrero had outstanding warrants for Assault of a Public Servant and Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child issued by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office. This arrest was made while working in conjunction with the United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force out of San Antonio.
Christian Goggans was arrested in Cypress on July 14. Goggans had an outstanding warrant for Indecency with a Child Sexual Contact issued by the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office.
Duane Lee Fisher was arrested in San Antonio on July 16. Fischer had an outstanding warrant for Sex Assault of a Child issued by the Austin Police Department. This arrest was made while working in conjunction with the United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force out of San Antonio.
Paxton Seeks Preliminary Injunction After Biden Administration Illegally Revoked Medicaid Waiver
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin the Biden Administration’s illegal action rescinding the extension of the Medicaid Section 1115 waiver negotiated between Texas and the federal government.
In a politically motivated move, the administration reversed its agreement to extend that waiver until 2030.
“In an abuse of power, the Biden Administration blatantly ignored the needs of Texans when it revoked our Medicaid waiver,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Not only does this violate agency regulations, it was clearly intended to force our state into expanding Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This flippant decision is illegal and cruel. Putting the lives of vulnerable Texans on the line for political gain is reprehensible.”
After taking office, and acting through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Biden Administration purported to revoke that extension, with no warning to Texas. This will cause irreparable harm to Texans.
Read the motion here.
Paxton Recovers $26 Million for the State of Texas, Medicaid Program
AUSTIN –Attorney General Ken Paxton resolved an enforcement action against pharmaceutical manufacturer Apotex for reporting inflated drug prices to the Texas Medicaid program. Under the agreement, Apotex will pay Texas $26 million to resolve claims against it.
This settlement is the latest recovery in price reporting cases the Attorney General has brought under the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act since 1999, resulting in a cumulative recovery for Texas taxpayers of over $2.3 billion.
“Thanks to our Civil Medicaid Fraud Division’s commitment to Texas taxpayers, identifying and preventing Medicaid fraud continues to be a top priority in my office,” Attorney General Paxton said. “We will not allow pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of vulnerable Texans, and we will continue to be vigilant in cracking down on any abuse of this important program.”
Read the agreement here.
Paxton Joins Multistate Coalition to Protect the Rights of the Unborn
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a 20-state coalition in supporting South Carolina’s defense of its Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act that was challenged by Planned Parenthood and enjoined by a federal district judge shortly after it was enacted.
Under this law, abortions are prohibited once a fetal heartbeat is detected with few exceptions, and the mother must be given the opportunity to have an ultrasound and view the sonogram. In this case, the district court struck down the law in its entirety, including those provisions that are regularly enforced in dozens of other states.
“The district court in this matter completely bypassed the fact that laws like the one in South Carolina protect the unborn in at least 24 states,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Those parts of this legislation ensure that a woman seeking an abortion has all the facts about the life she is carrying and understands the impact of her life-ending decision.”
Read the Amicus Brief here.
Texas Goes Head-to-Head with the Feds: Public Health Immigration Laws Must be Enforced at the Border
AUSTIN – This week, Attorney General Ken Paxton filed Texas’s reply brief demanding that the Biden Administration enforce public health immigration law at the border.
A Federal District Court in Fort Worth heard an oral argument on Tuesday. The State of Texas is requesting the Court impose an injunction on the federal government to stop it from continuing its unlawful activities.
Under President Trump, the federal government utilized a body of laws known as Title 42 to rapidly expel illegal aliens at the border in order to preserve Americans’ and Texans’ public health in the midst of the Covid pandemic.
Yet President Biden abandoned significant portions of Title 42 (and other related federal immigration laws), resulting in an explosion of illegal immigration at the border and an exponential increase in the costs Texans must bear in public resources. The Biden Administration persists in its conduct despite the prevalence of new surges and strains in Mexico and other countries—just as Texas is beginning to fully reopen.
“Title 42—when it was faithfully enforced—was extraordinarily successful in expelling illegal aliens, protecting Americans’ public health, and preserving our limited public resources,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The Biden Administration has unlawfully abandoned its legal duties, resulting in massive increase in illegal immigration at the border, and in turn forced Texas to bear additional massive costs and harms. The Court must intervene to stop this insanity.”
Attorney General Paxton has sued the Biden Administration on behalf of the State of Texas 11 times since Inauguration Day on January 20, 2021. Five of those 11 lawsuits are immigration-related. This Title 42-Covid suit is one of the five.
A copy of Texas’s reply brief—drafted alongside America First Legal and the Immigration Reform Law Institute—can be found here.
Request for Opinion
Official Request Summary RQ-0417-KP
Whether section 37.122 of the Education Code prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages at a school banquet facility when leased to private operators for non-school related or sponsored events
Monday, July 19, 2021
The Honorable Robert Love
Randall County Criminal District Attorney
2309 Russell Long Boulevard, Suite 120
Canyon, Texas 79015