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Texas Senate Bill Targets ‘Renegade’ DAs

Government

House of Representatives chambers, at the capitol building in Texas | Image by VDB Photos/Shutterstock

A freshman Texas senator has filed legislation that would expose district attorneys to potential litigation from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) if they decline to prosecute criminal actions.

Sen. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) tweeted Thursday on the opening day of the 88th Legislature:

“I continued my commitment to public safety, filing my first Senate Bill – SB 378, which allows the Attorney General to bring suit against district attorneys who willfully disregard Texas law, placing the public at risk.”

The proposed legislation would empower the OAG to sue district and county attorneys if they adopt, formally or informally, a policy of non-prosecution or amnesty for crimes committed in violation of Texas law.

“A prosecuting attorney may not,” the bill reads, “adopt or enforce a policy under which the prosecuting attorney prohibits or materially limits the enforcement of any criminal offense.”

The bill also stipulates that “a prosecuting attorney may not prohibit or materially limit a peace officer or attorney … from enforcing any criminal offense.”

If a prosecutor were to violate the policy, “The attorney general may bring an action” and “recover reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining relief.”

Furthermore, the offending prosecutor would be subject to fines of up to $1,500 for a first violation and $25,500 for subsequent violations per day the policy is in effect.

The violating attorney would also be automatically removed from office if found guilty in a jury trial.

Sen. Parker told The Dallas Express, “We have witnessed district attorneys in Texas willfully disregard their most fundamental responsibilities, putting the public’s safety at risk.”

Continuing, Parker explained, “Our government was built on the principle of separation of powers. It is the job of the legislature to enact and repeal the laws on the books, based on feedback from our constituents.”

“However, an increasing number of district attorneys in this state are taking it upon themselves to legislate from their desks, oftentimes against the wishes of the people living in their own communities who are left facing the consequences of their inaction,” the senator concluded.

Parker’s proposal follows a public reversal by Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, who recently abandoned his controversial theft amnesty policy, as reported by The Dallas Express.

Still, Creuzot defended the experiment, arguing that he only sought to “decriminalize poverty.” He claimed his policy had been “misrepresented and politicized.”

Since Creuzot’s inauguration, the number of violent and property-related crimes has increased by the thousands, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data.

Despite increases in crime, Creuzot recently won another four-year term after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from left-wing megadonor George Soros, as covered by The Dallas Express.

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