‘Burdensome and unnecessary’: Bexar County DA responds to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s proposed rule

Proposal would allow Paxton to remove DA’s in large Texas counties who fail to meet reporting requirements

A proposed rule by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton would allow him to remove some DA’s who do not provide additional reporting on certain cases.

On Friday, 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.

Paxton’s office announced the proposed rule earlier this week in a press release.

It would require district and county attorneys in counties with populations over 250,000 to provide additional reporting to the AG’s office. That additional reporting would be for cases in which a person arrested for a violent offense is not indicted. It also includes cases in which a poll watcher or peace officer is indicted.

“District Attorneys who choose not to prosecute criminals appropriately have created unthinkable damage in Texas communities,” Paxton’s statement read. “These enhanced reporting standards will create much-needed transparency and enable the public to hold their elected officials accountable.”

The proposed rule was filed with the Secretary of State in late February and was published in the Texas Register on March 8. That marked the beginning of a 30-day public comment period.

According to Paxton’s office, he could enact the new rule following the public comment period.

About the Authors

Emily Allen is the Executive Producer for the Nightbeat at KSAT 12. She is a San Antonio native with more than a decade of experience in news. She's worked as a producer in Dallas, South Bend, Ind., and most recently, Orlando, Fla. Emily is a proud graduate of Texas Christian University, a diehard Spurs fan and a devotee of Bill Miller iced tea.

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. He is an amateur triathlete, enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and hanging out with his wife.

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