Court Doc: Texas AG Fled While Being Served Subpoena

Process server Ernesto Martin Herrera says Ken Paxton avoided him for hour, then took off with wife
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2022 9:04 AM CDT
Affidavit: Texas AG Fled His Home to Avoid Getting Served
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to reporters on Jan. 27 in Weslaco, Texas.   (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP, File)

Even though recipients of a subpoena typically aren't thrilled to be getting one, the delivery of it is still usually a fairly straightforward process. Not so much at the home of Ken Paxton this week, where a process server who had such paperwork says the Texas attorney general tried to avoid him before finally fleeing in an SUV driven by his wife, reports the Texas Tribune. In an affidavit filed in federal court Monday, Ernesto Martin Herrera says he arrived at Paxton's McKinney residence that morning with two subpoenas in hand for Paxton. The subpoenas sought the attorney general's testimony in a Tuesday hearing regarding a lawsuit filed by nonprofits that want to help patients access out-of-state abortions.

What happened next, according to Herrera, sounds part Pineapple Express, part OJ taking off in the Ford Bronco—except in this case it was apparently a Chevy truck. From Herrera's affidavit: He says that when he first knocked on the door, a woman who identified herself as Angela answered (Paxton's wife is state Sen. Angela Paxton), and Herrera informed her he had "important legal documents" for Kenneth Paxton. Angela said Paxton was on the phone, so Herrera informed her he'd wait. Nearly an hour later, a black Chevy Tahoe pulled up and idled in the driveway, and about 20 minutes after that, Paxton himself emerged from the garage, though he "ran back inside" the house after he spotted Herrera. A few minutes later, Angela came out and got into the driver's seat of a black Chevy truck parked in the driveway, followed by Paxton, who rushed to get inside the truck.

Herrera says in the affidavit that, after shouting he had court documents for Paxton, he finally just laid the subpoenas on the ground next to the truck and informed Paxton he was being served. Paxton, however, climbed into the truck, and both vehicles then drove away, per Herrera. Late Monday night, Paxton headed online to address the incident, and the Tribune's reporting on it, calling it all "a ridiculous waste of time" and accusing the media of ignoring threats against conservatives, per the Washington Post. "They're attacking me for having the audacity to avoid a stranger lingering outside my home and showing concern about the safety and well-being of my family," he wrote on Twitter in response to the Tribune's own post about the story, notably not denying that he'd fled his home as Herrera claimed. (Read more Ken Paxton stories.)

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