Judge pauses motion to dismiss petition to remove Travis County DA Jose Garza

A judge has paused a motion to dismiss a petition to remove Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, saying there needs to be more evidence. 

A law went into effect on Sept. 1, 2023 that said a DA's refusal to prosecute certain crimes would be "official misconduct," and they could be removed by a judge from outside the district. 

In April, a woman named Mary Dupuis filed a petition accusing Garza of indiscriminately pressing charges against police, having a "do not call to testify" list, and refusing to prosecute certain drug crimes and cases relating to the state's abortion ban. 

Bell County attorney Jim Nichols, who was appointed to prosecute the case, filed a motion to dismiss Friday, saying sending excessive force cases to a grand jury was not valid grounds for removal, that the DA has denied the existence of a "do not call," list, which wouldn't be considered misconduct, and the DA was prosecuting drug charges, following updated Texas law. 

Judge Dib Waldrip, who is presiding over the case, filed a notice Tuesday saying there needs to be evidence to support the motion within 30 days or there will be a status hearing. 

Save Austin Now, while not involved with the petition, weighed in. 

"Our interest here is in improving public safety and ensuring that our top prosecutors take their job seriously, uphold their oath, and follow state law," Matt Mackowiak, Co-Founder of Save Austin Now said. "We do hope over the next 30 days additional information and evidence comes forward."


The DA's Office told FOX 7 on Tuesday they didn't have a comment. In April, when the petition was filed, they said:

"Every day, our office works to bring justice to Travis County and keep people safe. [In March], a few billionaires and MAGA Republicans and their dark money PAC failed to stop our progress at the ballot box. Now, one month later, their allies are wasting taxpayer money trying to undermine the decision of the voters of Travis County. They failed once, and they'll fail again."

Dupuis says she wasn't informed of the motion to dismiss being filed. 

"It was a wise decision of Judge Waldrip to expect more of Jim Nichols' investigation than asking José Garza if he thought he was guilty and 'tak[ing] him at his word,'" she said. "This motion to dismiss appears to be another attempt to shirk responsibility and does not come as a surprise."

FOX 7 reached out to Nichols but hasn't heard back.