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Conservative leader sues to remove Mark Gonzalez as Nueces County District Attorney

The Nueces County leader of a conservative nonprofit filed a 119-page lawsuit to remove Gonzalez, alleging numerous failings while in office.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Nueces County leader of a conservative nonprofit has filed a lawsuit to remove Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez from office.

Colby Wiltse laid out his case against Gonzalez in a 119-page court filing late Friday afternoon.

The allegations broadly accuse Gonzalez of:

  • mishandling the Breanna Wood murder case
  • lengthy trial delays caused by lack of oversight and procedures
  • failing to pursue indictments or revoke probation
  • dismissing a high number of felony and misdemeanor cases
  • choosing not to prosecute people for abortions or transgender surgeries
  • failing to adequately address prosecutor staffing shortages
  • advertising for his store and restaurant (Cruiser’s Country Store) using government property
  • attending progressive DA conferences without disclosing travel benefits

"I won't be making any comment on the potential impending litigation," Gonzalez said Monday in a brief statement. "However, I will say we will challenge all allegations and are proud of the work we have done."

Sources tell 3NEWS it’s likely that Judge David Stith of the 319th District Court will recuse himself and an out-of-town judge would be assigned to the case.

RELATED: Fire at store co-owned by DA Mark Gonzalez

3NEWS has reported on some of what Wiltse alleges in the lawsuit. That includes when the Texas Attorney General’s Office took away the Breanna Wood murder case from the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office.

Anchor Rudy Treviño reported on the backlog of cases and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit does not address the pandemic's impact on either the backlog or trial delays.

Gonzalez is also on record saying that he will not prosecute abortion cases or families who allow their children to receive gender-affirming care. A number of other progressive district attorneys in Texas have also made similar pledges.

Wiltse’s lawsuit says that Gonzalez has run afoul of both state law and the Texas Constitution and looks to have him removed immediately.

Who is Colby Wiltse?

Wiltse is the executive director of the Nueces County chapter of County Citizens Defending Freedom USA, a national nonprofit based in Florida that fights for conservative causes.

Last summer, Wiltse circulated a flyer encouraging people to monitor the social media of school teachers and administrators. That flyer prompted a rebuke from the local teachers union.

Credit: CCDF-USA (@ccdfusa)
Colby Wiltse speaks at the CCDF-USA meeting where he was named an executive director for Nueces County.

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