D.A. / C.A. Merger Proposal Fails
Motion to combine agencies fails for lack of a second
1:15PM, Tue. Dec. 11, 2018
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.
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.
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