Sheriff Salazar distances himself from DA Gonzales after Wren Collective conversations become public

Salazar asks Gonzales that he ‘respect attorney-client privilege’ moving forward

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar this week distanced himself from Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales, asking the fellow elected official to “respect attorney-client privilege” moving forward.

In a letter sent to Gonzales and Bexar County First Assistant District Attorney Christian Henricksen Wednesday, Salazar wrote that he was not pleased with how often his name was utilized in the back-and-forth messaging between Gonzales, Henricksen and Jessica Brand, founder of the Wren Collective.

Salazar’s letter also states Henricksen discussed the sheriff’s position on certain items despite never having a conversation about them.

“Moving forward, if you and I speak, I would ask that you respect attorney-client privilege and that all conversations between us be kept confidential. Please email me strictly on this email platform and call me only on my county cell phone if you have any questions,” the letter states.

The 204 pages of communications, released to KSAT this week following a public records request, nearly cover Gonzales’ entire tenure in office.

In the messages, Brand and DA leadership frequently discussed teaming up with Salazar for joint press conferences.

In messages sent in September 2022, Gonzales discussed Salazar’s approach to an investigation into migrants being flown from Texas to the east coast, informing Brand that the sheriff talked about the possibility of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and others affiliated with the flights being charged with human trafficking.

In a separate Feb. 1 letter sent to the Wren Collective, an attorney representing Salazar requested that the group cease and desist from using Salazar and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office to further its agenda.

“Your actions pose potential harm to the reputation of another elected official,” the letter states.

Reached for comment Friday afternoon, Salazar’s attorney, Mary Pietrazek, told KSAT, “It was alarming to (Sheriff Salazar) when he read through some of those messages.”

Gonzales responded to a request for comment to this story, saying, “I have responded to the Sheriff directly and clarified my role as the Criminal District Attorney of Bexar County as it relates to the potential prosecution of criminal matters. I now consider this matter closed.”

The working relationship between the DA’s office and Brand, which dates back to at least January 2019, the same month Gonzales took office, had not been publicly acknowledged by the DA’s office until this week.

Read more reporting on the KSAT Investigates page.


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About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.