3NEWS sits down with Nueces County DA for one-on-one interview

“Someone I consider a great attorney and so I know I’m in good hands, but it’s going to be a step back bringing Matt in now, will be a step back in my defense.”

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 3NEWS spoke with Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez about the commissioners unanimous vote to have attorney Matt Manning as his representation.

Manning is no stranger to Gonzalez, having worked under him as first assistant district attorney.

He was one of three choices the district attorney gave commissioners to select from. Gonzalez told 3NEWS that he was still processing his reaction, but said it was one of relief.

“I’m still very glad that commissioners court number one, is allowing me an opportunity to make a list, even though you have to ask yourself, if you were anyone in my position, would you want to choose who should defend you right?” he said.

Earlier this month, commissioners told Gonzalez that if they pay for his attorney, they want to choose that attorney.

Commissioners got to pick his attorney despite Gonzalez already being represented by attorney Chris Gale.

“When you have an attorney you form a bond and you also create trust and you have a game plan right? I can say I had that with Chris and I know I will always and will have that with Matt. Matt is a close friend of mine, a colleague, a coworker,” he said.

Gonzalez told 3NEWS that he still wants to have Gale as part of his legal team, acknowledging that his departure would mean completely starting over with whoever comes next.

“Someone I consider a great attorney, and so I know I’m in good hands, but it’s going to be a step back bringing Matt in now, will be a step back in my defense,” he said.

3NEWS broke the story early March that county attorney Jenny Dorsey amended and refiled a petition to remove Gonzalez.

It accuses him of incompetence and official misconduct and was originally filed by the leader of a local conservative group.

“I choose to serve my community and I continue to do that everyday, and it’s a little challenging when they try to attack you for doing that. I assure you my intentions as the DA have been in the right place,” he said.

Gonzalez contends that the move is politically motivated, telling 3NEWS that he does not plan to seek another term in office as a district attorney.

“That’s exactly what it is, if I may be perhaps a different last name, or maybe don’t look the way I do, I don’t think I’m getting a petition to seek removal,” he said.

The court appointed Manning to a “reasonable hourly rate to be negotiated.” 3NEWS reached out to both Manning and Gale for comments, but have not yet heard back.

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