D.A. / C.A. Merger Proposal Fails

Motion to combine agencies fails for lack of a second

The lingering proposal to add to the Travis County legislative agenda the request to create a Criminal District Attorney office – merging the D.A. and County Attorney offices – failed today at Commissioners Court. Court will instead consider moving all criminal prosecutions under the D.A., leaving civil matters with the County Attorney.

Margaret Moore and David Escamilla (Photo by John Anderson)

Commissioner Gerald Daugherty initiated today's long-anticipated discussion by (hesitantly) making the motion to merge the two offices, as is the situation in 49 Texas counties, although he said he was not yet certain he would vote to approve it. Following extended discussion on the dais, and responses from District Attorney Margaret Moore and County Attorney David Escamilla, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt asked for a second for Daugherty's motion.

No second came, and Eckhardt declared the motion failed. She immediately moved to consider merging all criminal prosecutions – misdemeanors (currently handled by the County Attorney) as well as felonies – into the D.A.'s office. Commissioners asked for more information, and after legislative liaison Deece Eckstein said there is still time to consider the Court's 2019 agenda, Eckhardt said they would return to the subject at the next Court session.

For more on the story, follow the Daily News and this week's print edition.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Travis County Commissioners Court
Ann Howard Kicks Off Commissioner Campaign
Ann Howard Campaign Kickoff
ECHO director hosts first event in Precinct 3

Michael King, March 25, 2019

Commissioners Ponder D.A. / C.A. Merger
Commissioners Still Pondering C.D.A
Court punts Lege agenda decision to Dec. 11 [UPDATE]

Michael King, Dec. 10, 2018

More Travis County District Attorney
Dukes Deal Off. Next Stop: Court.
Dukes Deal Off. Next Stop: Court.
District Attorney confirms state rep will stand trial

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 2, 2017

Updated: Plea Deal for Dukes Expires
Updated: Plea Deal for Dukes Expires
State rep had until close of business Tuesday to accept D.A.'s offer

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 1, 2017


Travis County Commissioners Court, Travis County District Attorney, Travis County Attorney, Margaret Moore, David Escamilla

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle