Abbott names former Texas secretary of state to temporarily head state attorney general’s office

The former Texas secretary of state will head the state attorney general’s office following the temporary ouster last week of Republican Ken Paxton.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday appointed John Scott to temporarily lead the office following the indictment against Paxton filed Saturday by the Texas House of Representatives.

In a statement, Abbott praised Scott’s experience, noting that he served as assistant attorney general for civil litigation when Abbott was attorney general before being elected governor.

“His decades of litigation experience and expertise will help guide him as he serves as the state’s chief judicial branch officer,” Abbott said in a statement.

Scott is a Fort Worth native with more than three decades of legal practice under his belt, Abbott added. That includes litigating more than 100 lawsuits and arguing before state and U.S. supreme courts and several federal appellate courts, Abbott added.

His appointment comes after Paxton, who was first elected in 2014, was temporarily removed from office after the leadership of the Texas House of Representatives presented its members with 20 articles of impeachment alleging Paxton abused his office and committed bribery, among other allegations. The Texas Senate will convene for a trial this summer to decide whether to permanently remove Paxton.

Scott’s term as Texas Secretary of State lasted approximately one year; it began in October 2021 and ended with his resignation in December 2022. He was replaced in that position by Jane Nelson, Republican of Flower Mound.

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