CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A petition seeking the removal of Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez was filed on Friday evening before the District Court.
Gonzalez, who is in his second term as DA, is responsible for prosecuting felony and misdemeanor charges in Nueces County. His term ends on December 31, 2024.
The petition, brought by local businessman and state director for County Citizens Defending Freedom, Colby Wiltse, says Gonzalez should be removed from public office “for not completeness, disorderly conduct, and inability to give a covenant.”
“During the current tenure of the accused, he misrepresented and handled the cases of murder, application for annulment, dismissal of crimes, as well as willful annulment of the laws of his oath of office,” is part of the petition. “Under the prosecution and supervision of the defendant, the criminal justice system in Nueces County is in a crisis with a backlog of cases and a lack of skilled attorneys.”
When reached for a comment by 6 Investigates, Gonzalez said he wanted to comment, but could not do so until he had an opportunity to review the request.
KRIS 6 News provided Gonzalez with a copy of the motion filed, with time to respond before the hearing.
Article 87 of the local government law establishing the process to dismiss certain county officials; including a district attorney. That process begins with the filing of a petition in district court.
Under state law, the district court judge must determine whether there is probable cause to provide information to the elected official. As soon as this decision is made, the administration will set a time and date, no later than five days after the filing of the application, to take place. present the candidate before the court and answer the allegations made in the petition.
The case is prosecuted by the district attorney, except for cases where the removal of the district attorney is sought. If a statement is issued, the judge may decide that it is in the best interest of the public to temporarily suspend the candidate until a decision is made.
Only the board of directors has the power to remove a county official, according to state law. And after the jury’s deliberations, either side has one chance to appeal the decision.
Finally, if the official is removed, the governor appoints another to replace the position, until the next election.
State law allows removal under incompetence, official misconduct, drunkenness, or failure to pay bond.
Liability is required from many public employees to pay for losses caused by negligence or serious crimes committed by elected officials.
In the case of the District Attorney’s Office, the amount of the bond is $5,000 to be paid by the governor and filed with the governor. The district attorney has the option not to issue a bond, if the commissioners court decides to insure the district attorney against financial loss.
According to the petition filed, Gonzalez took office on January 1, 2017, and it is alleged that a bond was not filed until February 1, 2019. That bond was file with the Nueces County Clerk, not the state administrator.
STATEMENT OF INCOMPETENCE
The petition also alleges incompetence in relation to the murder of Breanna Wood. Wood was killed in 2016 and seven people have been charged in his death.
6 Previously reported by researchers Nueces County DA First Assistant Angelica Hernandez allowed Wood’s mother, Fallon Wood, provides investigation into pending murder cases Joseph Tejeda and Sandra Vasquez.
After the report, the lawyers filed a criminal defense motion to dismiss in both cases.
In a decision, Judge Manuel J. Banales wrote:
“The Court finds that, although there was credible evidence of gross incompetence, negligence and/or negligence on the part of the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office in the prosecution and investigation of these cases, but such behavior does not reach the point where dismissal is required. the charges are murder.”
In both cases Breanna Wood and many cases are a the doctor is accused of having sex with the patients, the petition accuses Gonzalez of “failing to make policies for the handling or response of witnesses to the highest standards that often lead to significant delays in the administration of justice .”
The petition also cites the DA’s office’s failure to pursue prosecutions “in support of requests to revoke probation.”
6 Studies reported on this in June 2022 and spoke with the Nueces County Community Supervision and Correction Department Director after the killed two people in the Windrush apartment.
According to the Director of CSCD, William Shull, their deaths could have been avoided if the DA’s office had not dropped new charges against the man accused of their deaths.
The petition also says the DA’s office dismissed thousands of misdemeanor and misdemeanor cases.
6 studies were reported dismissed by the district attorney’s office in August 2022 and his impact on programs designed to rehabilitate offenders.
Among other complaints, the complaint alleges Gonzalez made social media ads promoting his private business, Cruisers, from his office at the Nueces County Courthouse.
“The defendant’s use of government property, his services, as well as his official time to carry out his business to increase his special funds, is a This is a false interpretation of his position,” the petition states.
According to the petition, Wiltse is asking for a statement to be issued and Gonzalez to be temporarily suspended from the District Attorney’s office pending a trial.
KRIS 6 News will update this story with Gonzalez’s response when we hear back.
This is a developing story, stay with KRIS 6 News for updates.