Two local judges recused themselves from the petition seeking to remove Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez on Wednesday.
Last week, Colby Wiltse, a Nueces County resident and the Texas state director for the conservative group County Citizens Defending Freedom, filed a 118-page petition contending the district attorney should be removed from office due to “incompetency, official misconduct and failure to give bond.”
More:Conservative activist files petition, seeks removal of Nueces County district attorney
The petition alleges Gonzalez has mishandled murder cases and criminal dismissal rates, resulting in backlogged cases and a shortage of prosecutors.
On Wednesday, 319th District Judge David Stitch referred a motion to recuse to Presiding Judge Missy Medary of the 5th Administrative Judicial Region.
“I, the undersigned Judge of this Court, reviewed this case,” the letter reads. “Having done so, I find it necessary to recuse myself from this case.”
Following his recusal, the case returned to Medary, who then recused herself in a letter to Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht. Medary requested Hecht assign a judge from outside Nueces County to preside over the case, as Gonzalez and his office practice in all district courts in the county.
“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 case other than to refer the case to you, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, for assignment,” Medary’s letter stated.
More:After losing multiple local seats in midterms, Nueces County Democrats plan to ‘regroup’
More:Meet the newly sworn-in Corpus Christi City Council
More:Residents, environmentalists condemn port authority’s dredging proposal near Harbor Island