CORPUS CHRISTI — Just hours before he received an amended petition that asks for his removal from office, Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez pleaded with the county commissioners court to pay for his defense in that lawsuit.
During public comment on Wednesday, Gonzalez said he was disappointed in the court for not hiring counsel for him to address the suit.
“It strikes me that we are here on Gideon Day,” Gonzalez said. “We advocate and we ask that people have a right to an attorney and that’s all I’m asking for and I was also disappointed that it was left of today.”
KRIS 6 previously reported conservative group leader Colby Wiltse is the man behind the lawsuit.
“Why are we having these problems at the district attorney’s office?” Wiltse said. “Well there’s a lack of leadership, there's a lack of presence. There's not policies in place to avoid the issues that we've seen.”
Claims that Gonzalez chose not to prosecute abortion or transgender rights cases were removed from the petition because no such cases have been brought to his office.
READ THE AMENDED PETITION TO REMOVE THE DA
“Their complaint is just a farse it’s a political and ideological attack,” Gonzalez’s attorney Chris Gale said. “It’s based on maybe a style difference. They don’t like the way that he runs their office. That’s what their complaint is. Then vote him out of his last term.”
County attorney Jenny Dorsey joined the suit asking for retired San Antonio Judge David Peeples to issue a citation to Gonzalez.
At a hearingon March 8, the judge asked Dorsey to amend the petition which she did and filed March 22.
“Really they just kind of doubled down in regards to these issues that are premised on a couple of fallacies,” Gale said.
If a citation is issued, the suit will go before a jury who will decide Gonzalez’s fate.
“I’ve been sued twice in my public capacity and every time the county has agreed to represent me,” Gonzalez said.
“Cause the reality is anything anytime wasted by the county attorney whether it’s prodding my ex-interns, my employees who worked for me to try and get something out, it’s on your dime,” Gonzalez said. “So, I’m asking for the same thing.”
During his public comment Wednesday, Gonzalez referenced the movie Braveheart.
“The theme of this is this guy is fighting for his country and the country men continue to disappoint him,” Gonzalez said. “And on March 8, I had a three-hour hearing regarding the removal of my office and I was disappointed that I didn’t get one text, one call about my item that was placed here for the approval of my legal fees.”
Gonzalez also referenced the 1985 film Legend of Billie Jean, which was filmed in Corpus Christi.
“That theme says what’s fair is fair,” Gonzalez said. “Commissioner, what’s fair is fair. Shouldn’t I get my legal fees paid for?”
Nueces County Judge Connie Scott said on March 8, the same say as Gonzalez’s hearing, commissioners court decided to hire outside counsel to advise them.
That attorney advised the court to ask for guidance from the attorney general.
Scott said that may take some time and if the AG tells them the court have to pay for Gonzalez’s attorney fees, they will reimburse him.
Both sides wait for the Judge David Peeples to review the amended petition so no decision has been made nor a date set for a next hearing.