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Austin Developer Nate Paul At Center Of Impeachment Trial Against Texas AG Ken Paxton

Nearly half of the articles of impeachment leveled against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton involved a developer named Nate Paul, Austin-based executive of World Class Capital.

In a historic series of events over a holiday weekend, members of the Texas House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly May 28 to impeach Paxton for what they claim is a years-long pattern of impropriety, including misspent funds and misuse of his office to benefit Paul, a friend of Paxton’s and a political donor, according to The Texas Tribune.

The impeachment resolution features Paul in seven of its 20 counts and offers the first real evidence of an inappropriate relationship between him and the AG’s office, putting to bed years of speculation by people in both men’s inner circles that led to an FBI raid of Paul’s home and office back in 2019.

Nate Paul speaking at a Bisnow event

Paul rose to prominence about a decade ago for having a 9M SF property portfolio across downtown Austin, much of which he acquired on the cheap during the Great Financial Crisis, according to a report by The Real Deal. He was also known for his success in raising institutional capital and for his self-storage business, Great Value Storage, which he sold last year for $588M.

By 2017, World Class Capital held $1.2B in assets comprising 10M SF across 17 states, a Forbes article said at the time.

Prior to 2015, very little was known about the then-28-year-old Paul. Many of Austin’s more seasoned developers met his ambitious plans with skepticism, per TRD. Those early doubts turned out to be warranted — within five years, Paul’s business was mired in a series of bankruptcy filings and property foreclosures, including a 6-acre assemblage along Austin’s South Congress Avenue and the 3M campus. 

That’s where the indictments claim Paxton came in.

Whistleblowers in Paxton’s office first alleged an inappropriate relationship between the AG and Paul back in 2015 — rumors that both men have vehemently denied. A lawsuit filed at the time claimed Paul helped pay for renovations to Paxton’s home and employed his mistress in exchange for her silence about the affair.

In exchange, the whistleblowers said Paxton intervened in legal action against Paul and helped him to avoid a pending foreclosure sale on some of his properties.

Paxton's impeachment comes three months after he agreed to settle the whistleblower lawsuit for $3.3M in taxpayer money, which requires legislative approval, and just five days after a House committee revealed a corruption investigation into Paxton had been ongoing under the radar for months.

Paxton has been suspended from his office and now awaits a Senate trial on charges of bribery, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice, per The Texas Tribune. Permanently removing Paxton from office and barring him from holding future elected office in Texas would require the support of two-thirds of senators.

One of those senators includes Paxton's wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, who represents Collin, Hunt and Rains counties.