EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, has accepted the resignation of elected District Attorney Yvonne Rosales, according to the letter obtained by KTSM.
The letter, dated Friday morning, was filed by the alleged Walmart shooter’s defense team in the Walmart case.
Rosales agreed to step down as the 34th Judicial District Attorney on Monday, following a tumultuous tenure lasting less than two years.
According to the terms of her resignation, Rosales will step down as the DA effective 5 p.m. on December 14. She turned over control of her office on Monday to her First Assistant District Attorney George Al Hanna, in the interim until Abbott appoints a new DA.
Abbott is expected to name a Republican successor to finish Rosales’ term through 2024. Attorney Bill Hicks has emerged as the frontrunner for her replacement.
According to his biography, Hicks has more than two decades of experience practicing law. He is a graduate of Texas Tech Law School and opened a practice in the Texas Hill Country before moving to El Paso to join the 34th Judicial District Attorney’s office under Jaime Esparza. During his tenure in the DA’s office, he was assigned to the Metro Narcotics Task Force and was responsible for supervising and training new prosecutors in the office.
Hicks was in court Wednesday to hear testimony from the Hoffmann family. KTSM approached Hicks to see if the governor’s office had contacted him, and he responded by saying, “I’m sorry, I’m not available to give comments on that at this time.”
Hicks was also appointed as judge of the 243rd District Court in 2010 by then-Gov. Rick Perry. He served through 2012 and opened a private practice.
Former prosecutors offered Jobs
According to a report first published by El Paso Matters on Thursday, two former top prosecutors who worked for Esparza were given job offers by Al-Hanna.
The two prosecutors, Denise Butterworth and Amanda Enriquez, were both approached by Al-Hanna the day following the announcement of Rosales’ resignation.
According to El Paso Matters, Butterworth declined but did not elaborate on her reasoning.
Enriquez was at the center of a bombshell incident in the Walmart case, where a series of e-mails were sent to local media by an individual purporting to be the family of slain Walmart victim Alexander Hoffmann. The e-mails, which have since been revealed to come from Rosales’ associate Roger Rodriguez, vigorously attacked Enriquez.
At the time, Enriquez was rumored to be eyeing a run against Rosales in the 2024 election.
The e-mails criticized Enriquez for an appearance she made on KVIA on August 3 and also attacked Judge Sam Medrano.
“We met Amanda Enríquez while she was working as an assistant district attorney, and she was unprofessional, inadequate, and cold,” the e-mail said.
It has since been revealed that Enriquez never met the family until this week, during the hearing regarding the gag order in Medrano’s court.
Both former Assistant District Attorney Curtis Cox and Rosales invoked their Fifth Amendment rights when asked if they colluded with Rodriguez to write the e-mails to the media.
“I’m at a loss for words. Offering me a position on the Walmart case as a principal attorney, I am flabbergasted. I am dumbfounded.” Enriquez told KTSM Thursday. She went on to explain that although she supported her best friend, James Montoya, in the 2020 District Attorney election, she reapplied for her job within the office and was let go.
“Politics aside, we look for people to just do their jobs. I was willing to do that for her then, but I have no confidence that Mr. Al-Hanna can do that. He’s been complicit in her conduct. He’s been complicit and on her side, since she took office,” Enriquez told KTSM. “I think what we need to do is wait for the Governor’s appointee, and I am confident and hopeful that we will get somebody in there to start making changes so that our victims can have somebody.”