Bexar County District Attorney looks back at first year in office

Joe Gonzales says he’s made some major accomplishments

San Antonio – Looking back at his first year as the Bexar County District Attorney, Joe Gonzales said that after he won the 2018 election, he knew that he was facing a big job.

“We knew that we were going to have to hit the ground running,” Gonzales said Friday.

Gonzales’ main objective was to bring change.

“One of my concerns was bringing criminal justice reform to Bexar County, and I believe that we’re doing that,” he said.

Among what he considers his major accomplishments was the implementation of the cite-and-release program, which was done with what he called a major “buy-in” from law enforcement.

“We’ve had close to a thousand people avoid being arrested instead (of) being referred to the re-entry center for a small amount of drug cases, like marijuana," Gonzalez said.

Gonzales’ office records indicate that the number of cases is 1,166.

Several high-profile criminal cases set to be tried in San Antonio in early 2020

During his campaign, Gonzales promised that addressing family violence cases would be among his priorities.

Gonzales said that the number of cases currently pending is 1,100, which he claims is a significant reduction, about half in the past year.

Praising his staff, Gonzales said, “They had a huge backlog that they inherited that they’ve reduced significantly.”

The downside he’s concerned with involves money.

“Obviously, again, budget is always the big issue here,” Gonzales said. “If I had more prosecutors, we could do a better job.”

About the Author:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.