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Judge denies motion to dismiss in Nueces County District Attorney removal case

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Posted at 2:50 PM, Apr 12, 2023

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A motion to dismiss the case seeking the removal of Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez has been denied.

As KRIS 6 News previously reported, Gonzalez' attorney Chris Gale filed the motion last month, and claimed the case is based on "vague hearsay and information."

The original petition — brought by Nueces County resident and Texas State Director for County Citizens Defending Freedom Colby Wiltse — alleges Gonzalez should be removed from public office "due to incompetency, official misconduct, and failure to give bond."

Nueces County Attorney Jenny Dorsey joined the lawsuit to remove Gonzalez in February.

That lawsuit moved forward when visiting judge David Peeples issued a citation to Gonzalez.State statute requires the issuance of a citation before the case can be heard by a jury.

This month a second amended petition was filed and amended the reasons for removal, including allegations of incompetency and failure to execute a bond.

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Nueces County commissioners also voted Wednesday to pay for an attorney to represent Gonzalez.

Gale told commissioners the local government code requires the county to pay for representation when sued in their official capacity.

"This is not an option, but a mandatory right for Mr. Gonzalez to be paid and have his legal fees paid just as any of you would," Gale said.

Gale told commissioners that the request to pay legal fees had been made informally, then formally and he would be making a request in writing. If the county failed to respond, Gale said he would file a writ of mandamus and would take it as "far as it needs to, even if it goes to the Supreme Court to make a determination that public officials, like yourselves, are protected when people get a hair up their butt and decide to file a petition against you."

A writ of mandamus is a court order that compels a governmental entity to perform, or cease performing, a particular act.

The motion made by the court also gives the court the option to decide who the attorney will be.

"You all want to get him representation, but not good representation," Gale said in response to this motion.

County Commissioners voted to pay for Mr. Gonzalez's legal fees under a few conditions: that there was a cap on the cost, that should the DA be suspended the fee's would be reimbursed to the County, and that they would choose the attorney who represents him from a list provided by Mr. Gonzalez.