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District Attorney's office responds to complaints of crime victims

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-15 19:26:13-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Nueces County District Attorney's office is responding to complaints from local crime victims.

For nearly a year now, KRIS 6 News has answered calls and messages, and investigated complaints from Nueces County crime victims who feel short-changed by the D.A.'s office.

Some of the complaints we've received include technical problems, a vacancy in the Victims Assistance department and victims who claim they aren't properly notified about updates in their cases.

However, Assistant District Attorney Matt Manning said the office receives frequent positive feedback from victims.

"Unfortunately it doesn't seem to make it into your 10 o'clock broadcasts, but it's important for the citizens of Nueces County to know that their fellow citizens do feel that we are doing a good job," Manning said.

Per the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, crime victims have the right to be informed about court proceedings, developments in cases and compensation services.

"Sometimes people may have different expectations about what our office is here to do," District Attorney Mark Gonzalez said, "But we care about those victims."

During a recent budget presentation to county commissioners, the District Attorney's office acknowledged concerns and asked commissioners for more resources.

With only two Victims Assistance Coordinators serving the county, the D.A.'s office is shorthanded in comparison to counties of similar population size.

"That's eight different courts that I'm having to cover, and I'm one person," Sharra Rodriguez said. "So I know when we went up to the budget presentation, that is the one thing that I actually advocated to them."

Manning said the office is doing the best they can with the resources available.

"Where we don't have all the resources we should have, we're nonetheless maximizing those resources to the fullest extent of what we have to make sure that they get the services," Manning said.

Rodriguez, one of the county's two Victims Assistance Coordinators, said she is working on streamlining victim contact information from paper to an electronic database to improve the flow of information.

Additionally, the District Attorney's office said they are waiting on the approval of multiple grants they have applied for in order to beef up staffing resources there.

Gonzalez said any victim who feels they have slipped through the cracks can visit him in his office directly.

The District Attorney's office is located on the second floor of the Nueces County Courthouse at 901 Leopard St.