AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A state ethics board has declined to support Texas' attorney general using political donors to pay his mounting legal bills on criminal charges of defrauding investors.
Monday's decision means Republican Ken Paxton could still use supporters' money to cover his criminal defense, but he would do so without the board's key seal of approval.
The state's top prosecutor was indicted on two felony counts of securities fraud, which carry a potentially lengthy prison sentence. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Texas Ethics Commission appeared troubled that an anonymous person with unknown ties had asked for the ruling. Watchdogs argued letting Paxton take outside money would have invited corruption.
The allegations against Paxton supposedly happened in 2011, before he took office behind a rare endorsement from GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz.