New website aims to track performance of Travis County DA, county attorney

Three public safety groups have announced a new project they say aims to improve accountability for crime victims in Austin-Travis County.

Save Austin Now, SafeHorns and the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT) say they have launched a new website to track the performance of district attorney Jose Garza and county attorney Delia Garza.

"Today our message is ‘enough is enough’. It's not just us saying it, it's the State of Texas saying it. When the legislature passed on a bipartisan basis HB 17 they sent a very clear message to district attorneys and county attorneys in all 254 counties in Texas," said Matt Mackowiak, co-founder of Save Austin Now.

FOX 7 Austin is now on the FOX LOCAL app available through Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, Roku and Google Android TV

HB 17, a law passed by the Texas Legislature, went into effect on Sept. 1 after Gov. Greg Abbott signed it in June along with seven other public safety-related bills.

Under the law, a DA’s refusal to prosecute certain types of crimes would constitute "official misconduct." That would then allow the prosecutor to potentially be removed from office by a judge from outside that district.

"If a district attorney wants to be in law enforcement, they have to start by enforcing the laws," said Abbott in June. "If they want to make state policy, they should run for state legislature."


Save Austin Now, CLEAT and SafeHorns say the GarzaWatch website provides an opportunity for citizens or employees of those offices to become whistleblowers.

The Travis County DA's office responded to the announcement, saying it is "focused on solutions that keep our community safe, not on the police union’s political games. Republican-led efforts to subvert local democracy undermine our public safety."