It has been seven months since Mark Gonzalez took office as Nueces County District Attorney, and during that time he has made some sweeping changes.
The changes mostly involve hiring. He said the office will soon be fully staffed, that the backlog of cases when he first took office has been cleared, and that some new ideas he's implemented have generated hundreds of thousands in new revenue.
"There's so many boxes, it looks like Legos in there," Gonzalez said, referring to the jungle of cardboard boxes inside his office. "The proof of our hard work is in those boxes, and in the revenue that we're generating in the past cases, the present, and the future."
Each box is filled with files of cases that have been prosecuted, cleared and disposed of. At 37 years old, Gonzalez doesn't mince words about what he inherited from the previous administration.
"That means that their last year here, they didn't do nothing," Gonzalez said.
The backlog of cases have had a major impact on the County's judicial system.
"We know that, that the success of a lot of these cases and even the jail starts and stops with the DA's office. If we don't do our job, if we don't do our job it trickles down everywhere."
Gonzalez also implemented pretrial diversion programs that have brought in a revenue stream since the beginning of the year.
"It's actually $340,125.50 without counting even July," Gonzalez said. "That's from driving with license invalid. That's from DWIs. That's from possession of marijuana, and also from, I want to say, some family violence cases and some small numbers there."
The pretrial diversion targeting minor possession of marijuana offenders has generated more than $66,000 alone -- revenue that Gonzalez will reinvest.
"In turn we can generate positions that can help to supervise these individuals. Not only that, provides services. Sometimes they may need some counseling. Sometimes they may need some education. Any of those types of programs that they need, we can help. We can facilitate with the revenue that we get."
Gonzalez has been dubbed a progressive DA for thinking out of the box.