Bexar County district attorney to get outside legal counsel for possible challenge against Texas attorney general

Commissioners Court agrees the hiring of a Washington D.C. firm to represent Joe Gonzales

District Attorney Joe Gonzales and Attorney General Ken Paxton (KSAT/ ASSOCIATED PRESS , KSAT 2024)

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales is getting ready for a potential legal battle against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The Bexar County Commissioner’s Court on Tuesday approved the expenditure of $50,000 to hire the Washington D.C. legal firm of Miller and Chevalier to represent Gonzales in the event Paxton makes good on a proposed rule that allows him to remove district and county attorneys from office.

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The proposal requires 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 said in a statement last month. “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, which 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.

“Complying with the Attorney General’s proposed rules would cost local taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money,” Gonzales said Wednesday, “Pulling prosecutors out of courtrooms to review years-old cases in conference rooms makes no sense – especially when we are seeing tremendous success in prosecution of cases. Add to that the requirement that we send sensitive information regarding victims to a state agency who can then release the information at will and you have a recipe for disaster.”

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David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.

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