Bexar County First Assistant DA Christian Henricksen to join Travis County DA’s Office

The resignation follows questions over relationship with social justice reform group

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County District Attorney’s office has announced that First Assistant District Attorney Christian Henricksen has resigned.

Henricksen announced his resignation Tuesday morning with his last day set for April 26.

On Wednesday, Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza announced Henricksen will be in Trial Court and primarily responsible for overseeing the implementation of Counsel at First Appearance, which is a pre-indictment unit, and violence prevention programs.

Henricksen joined Bexar County DA’s office in 2019

Henricksen has been in District Attorney Joe Gonzales’ administration since the DA took office in 2019. Henricksen first started as chief of litigation and then was promoted to first assistant after Gonzales won his second term.

In the announcement made by the DA’s office, Henricksen released the following statement:

“Working with Joe Gonzales to serve the people of Bexar County has been the highlight of my career. We’ve worked to highlight the issue of lower attorney salaries in the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office. It’s a critical issue. I have an opportunity I cannot pass up and, as my children get closer and closer to college age, that becomes more and more important.”

According to Bexar County records, Henricksen made an annual salary of $189,552.

DA Gonzales weighs in

Gonzales issued the following statement in the same announcement:

“Christian Henricksen is a dedicated public servant, an exemplary prosecutor, and even above all that, a true and loyal friend. I’ve relied on his impressive ability to synthesize information, grasp nuances, and cut to the crux of issues for a long time. We are definitely going to miss him.”

Criticism of DA’s office in recent months

The DA’s office has received criticism in recent months over its relationship with the social justice reform group the Wren Collective.

Earlier this year, KSAT 12 revealed hundreds of emails and text messages between Henricksen, Gonzales and the Austin-based group.

In the messages, Henricksen discussed policy and case information with Wren Collective founder Jessica Brand.

In several messages, Henricksen criticized district court judges, SAPD and even Gonzales.

The DA’s office has defended its relationship with the group.

The relationship between the DA’s office and Wren is the latest controversy to envelop Gonzales during his second term in office.

Gonzales has been criticized for delays in indicting suspected criminals, offering plea deals with significantly reduced prison time or lesser charges and for dismissing a large number of cases.

Gonzales spent nearly $50,000 on a public relations campaign late last year, despite already employing a communications team.

Issues at the DA’s office have been internal as well.

KSAT Investigates last year revealed resignation letters and exit questionnaires submitted by DA staffers who described a “hostile and toxic” work environment hampered by harassment and a lack of communication and accountability.

Gonzales publicly squabbled with SAPD Chief William McManus last year after several officers were shot by suspects with criminal histories who were wanted on warrants.

McManus described each of the suspects as habitual criminal offenders who should have already been in jail instead of being free.

Gonzales said the cluster of violence toward law enforcement was “very unfortunate,” but claimed there is no way to predict if a person is going to shoot a police officer.

About the Authors

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.

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.

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