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Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales on Texas Attorney General Paxton's new proposed rule

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Joey Palacios

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is proposing a new rule for district attorneys in the state that would lead to more oversight from the attorney general’s office.

The rule would require district attorneys and county attorneys of counties with a population of more than 250,000 to establish official definitions for “violent crime,” submit additional reports and face consequences for violating reporting requirements.

The public can comment on the proposal, and the attorney general will enact a final rule after that period is over.

“District Attorneys who choose not to prosecute criminals appropriately have created unthinkable damage in Texas communities. Some of these officials have developed an unacceptable pattern of failing to uphold the law and adopting policies that privilege criminals over innocent victims,” said Paxton. “These enhanced reporting standards will create much-needed transparency and enable the public to hold their elected officials accountable.”

The office’s statement says the information collected through the new requirement will help citizens determine whether elected officials are inadequately prosecuting certain crimes, "releasing dangerous criminals back into the community, engaging in selective prosecution, or otherwise failing to uphold their obligations."

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales called the proposal “burdensome, unnecessary and potentially very costly to our citizens.”

“The mission of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is public safety and holding accountable those who endanger our community. Shifting limited resources from the courtroom to the copy room in order to comply with these new rules will greatly impact our mission. We are already required to report case dispositions to the Office of Court Administration,” Gonzales wrote in the statement.


Joe Gonzales is the Bexar County district attorney.

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*This interview will be recorded on Thursday, March 21, 2024.

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