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Trial date set for civil case seeking removal of District Attorney Mark Gonzalez

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Posted at 3:18 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-18 05:12:00-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A trial date has been set in the civil suit seeking the removal of Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez.

That date, selected during a pretrial hearing is Sept. 25, but may be impacted by pending motions.

As KRIS 6 News previously reported, a petition to remove Gonzalez was filed in January by Nueces County resident and Texas State Director for County Citizens Defending Freedom Colby Wiltse.

That petition was amended by Nueces County Attorney Jenny Dorsey in March.

Chris Gale, one of two attorneys representing Gonzalez, argued during the hearing that Dorsey should not be allowed to make any more amended pleadings.

Gale said that Dorsey should be restricted to the grounds already established and not be allowed to use discovery as a fishing expedition.

Matt Manning, who also represents Gonzalez, argued that case law indicates these types of cases are quasi-criminal and that, "in the interest of justice she (Dorsey) should be bound to the allegations."

However, Dorsey said the defense does not get to dictate her methods and asked that if evidence of other claims arises, she be allowed to include those.

Ultimately, visiting judge David Peeples determined Dorsey should be allowed to file amended pleadings, until Sept. 1st.

If additional claims are presented in those pleadings, Peeples said he would use his discretion to determine if they would be admitted. He also said that any filing that included new allegations could push back the trial date.

Gale also asked, before withdrawing his request, that a limit be put on the number of hours, or number of people that could be deposed, saying Dorsey had indicated 50 hours of depositions would be needed.

But after indicating he intends to call every judge and court coordinator in Nueces County to address claims of dismissing cases to meet Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) compliance, Peeples asked why Dorsey should be limited when the defense would be calling that many witnesses.

Ultimately, Peeples determined a limit would be placed, on both sides, for the number of witnesses and the number of hours in which those witnesses could be deposed.

Before the hearing, Peeples addressed media coverage, and said "I'm for transparency and we're certainly going to have it on this case."

He also said that there may be times "just because of the privacy and a need for candid discussions that we might have to not have the media present."

Peeples also noted concerns that what he says might be misconstrued.

Tuesday, KRIS 6 News anchor Taylor Alanis asked Peeples via email why the court was not adding hearings on the Nueces County District Clerk's website, or the register of actions.

Prior to the hearing, Peeples addressed this and said he was previously unaware of the register of actions, but would ensure hearings were noted going forward.