• January 18, 2021

Texas solicitor general latest exit in embattled AG's office - Odessa American: Wire News

e-Edition Subscribe

Texas solicitor general latest exit in embattled AG's office

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:33 pm | Updated: 6:03 pm, Wed Jan 13, 2021.

DALLAS (AP) — Texas' solicitor general who did not join embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton's failed efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election confirmed Wednesday he is resigning.

Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins did not say why he was leaving in a statement released by the attorney general's office, but he offered praise for his outgoing boss, calling Paxton a “stalwart advocate for Texas.”

Still, the departure continues a dramatic shakeup of Paxton's office that began in September when his top deputies accused the Republican of bribery and abuse of office on behalf of a donor. All eight of his accusers have since quit or been fired, and their accusations are the focus of an FBI investigation into Paxton.

“Kyle Hawkins fought for Texans’ rights every step of the way," Paxton said in the statement. "His dedication to safeguarding rights is very much appreciated.”

Hawkins, whose last day will be Feb. 1, did not respond to a request for comment. Paxton's office issued the statement after The Associated Press reported earlier Wednesday that Hawkins was resigning.

Solicitor general is a prominent post in Texas that includes leading and arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and is a job once held by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

But in December, Hawkins conspicuously left his name off a Texas lawsuit backed by President Donald Trump that asked the Supreme Court to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory. The court's rejection of the case amounted to a stark repudiation of a legal claim that was widely regarded as dubious.

Neither Hawkins nor the attorney general's office have addressed why he did not join the election challenge. Hawkins argued a major case before the Supreme Court as recently as November, during the latest Republican-led effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Paxton said that Judd Stone, who joined the attorney general's office last year and worked previously as chief counsel to Cruz, would replace Hawkins.

Paxton has denied wrongdoing after former staff accused him of crimes in the service of a wealthy donor, who also employs a woman with whom the attorney general allegedly had an extramarital affair. Separately, Paxton is awaiting trial on felony charges from 2015 that accuse him of defrauding investors in a Texas startup technology company. He has pleaded not guilty.

Paxton spoke at Trump’s rally in Washington last week before the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol. He later made false claims on social media that Trump supporters were not those responsible.

On Wednesday, 47 state attorneys general signed a letter condemning the riot at the Capitol as “a direct, physical challenge to the rule of law and our democratic republic itself.” The letter sent to Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen called on those charged with enforcing the law to ensure that lawless violence does not go unchecked.

Paxton did not join the letter.


Weber reported from Austin, Texas.

© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Humidity: 46%
Winds: SSW at 8mph
Feels Like: 39°

Your Extended Forecast


High 69°/Low 36°
Mainly sunny. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the mid 30s.


High 44°/Low 36°
More clouds than sun. Highs in the mid 40s and lows in the mid 30s.


High 49°/Low 41°
Showers ending by midday. Highs in the upper 40s and lows in the low 40s.


High 63°/Low 46°
Chance of afternoon showers. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the mid 40s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.