Meet a new breed of prosecutor


The new district attorney of Nueces County here in southern Texas strolls around the local courthouse in cowboy boots and a crisp brown suit with a colorful tie and matching pocket square, flashing a smile as wide as the grille of the Ford F-350 pickup he drives. On the surface, at least, he seems like your stereotypical Texas lawman – the one you see in movies wearing a Stetson and spurs, delivering justice and colloquial quips through a lip filled with chewing tobacco.

But then he tells you his name, Mark Gonzalez (the last name pronounced with a distinct Latino lilt). Then he might mention the trouble he’s had earning the trust of local law enforcement, in part because he’s listed as a gang member (he isn’t one, but more about that later). Eventually, he may talk about the raft of progressive changes that he’s beginning to implement in Nueces County, such as helping young…



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