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Judge recuses himself from lawsuit seeking removal of Nueces County District Attorney

mark a. gonzalez 0523.jpg
Posted at 2:08 PM, Jan 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 15:54:05-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 319th District Court Judge David Stith recused himself Tuesdayfrom the lawsuit seeking the removal of Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez.

As KRIS 6 News first reported, a petition was filed in district court Friday seeking the removal of Gonzalez from office.

The suit was filed by Colby Wiltse, Texas State Director for County Citizens Defending Freedom, and it alleges Gonzalez should be removed from public office "due to incompetency, official misconduct, and failure to give bond."

Chapter 87 of the local government code establishes the process to remove certain county officers; including a district attorney. That process begins with the filing of a petition in district court.

Under the state statute, a district court judge must determine if there is cause to issue a citation to the elected official.

Once that determination is made, the citation sets a time and date, no sooner than five days from the issuing of the citation, for the elected official to appear before a jury and answer the allegations made in the petition.

Following Stith's recusal, the case returned to Judge Missy Medary, the presiding judge of the Fifth Administrative Judicial Region, to be assigned to a new judge.

KRIS 6 News received a copy Tuesday of Meday's letter recusing herself from the case.

"Because the Petition to Remove Elected Official is concerning the Nueces County District Attorney, I find it necessary to recuse myself from taking any action in the above cause other than to refer the case to you, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, for assignment," she states in the recusal letter.

The letter, addressed to Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, requests he assign a judge to preside over the entirety of the case.