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Q-and-A: New El Paso DA shares plans for office

Bill Hicks.jpg
Aaron Montes / KTEP News
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Bill Hicks is El Paso's new District Attorney.
AUDIO: Q-and-A with new El Paso DA Bill Hicks
New El Paso DA ready to rebuild office

EL PASO, Texas (KTEP) - Bill Hicks is the first Republican to serve as District Attorney for El Paso. He was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott after former DA Yvonne Rosales resigned to avoid a possible suspension from office.

Hicks, a former assistant district attorney and district court judge, says he’ll use his experience to rebuild the office that was left in shambles. He spent his first days as the new DA walking through the office ‘marveling’ at how it has both changed and stayed the same compared to the time he served as a prosecutor over a decade ago.

“There’s just so many things to grasp and understand,” he said. “We’ve been focused from before I even took office, we’ve been focused on our three main goals.”

Those goals are getting the Walmart mass shooting case back on track, addressing a backlog of criminal cases, and addressing personnel shortages.

During his predecessor’s two years in office, the Walmart shooting case languished; nearly 1,000 criminal cases were dismissed due to a lack of action by prosecutors; and just over 60 DA's office employees resigned from their positions.

Hicks is aware of concerns about his political party affiliation but assures he’s working to serve the entire community.

“I’m not here to serve the interest of a political party,” he said. “I’m here to serve the interests of our communities, of our families, to work for a better community, to work for a better criminal justice system.”

The new DA was sworn into office on Dec. 21, in the county courthouse’s ceremonial courtroom. He immediately went to his office on the second floor and swore in his staff. He called on them to be ethical and to come to him if they had questions.

After, he spoke with KTEP in the office’s library. He talked about his goals, the Walmart mass shooting case and working with the public defender’s office to address case backlogs.