EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso County Attorney JoAnne Bernal filed an amended Petition for Removal of duly elected District Attorney Yvonne Rosales Monday morning, asking for her immediate suspension pending resolution of the case.
A simultaneous hearing was set by District Judge Tryon Lewis of Odessa for Thursday, December 15, at 10 a.m. A previously scheduled hearing for December 7th is canceled in lieu of the Judge’s filing this morning.
In addition to the December 15 hearing, Judge Lewis ordered Rosales to appear in person on Monday, November 28th, to discuss Yañez’s motion to Withdraw as Attorney of Record and Bernal’s Amended Petition. The hearing is two days before she is also ordered to appear in person in Judge Medrano’s court. If Rosales fails to appear at either hearing, she faces the possibility of arrest.
The amended petition also indicates some sort of deal was worked out with the Judge in the removal case prior to Monday’s amended petition, which Rosales may have backed out of.
Bernal states that “the allegations and issues raised are too serious and potentially detrimental to the community to allow the status quo to remain.” The County Attorney’s office is requesting a temporary appointment to the District Attorney’s position pending the resolution of the removal trial on March 13, 2023.
On Friday, the three attorneys representing Rosales in her removal trial filed a Motion to Withdraw as Attorney of Record, saying defense counsel and Rosales “have developed a conflict between the Attorney/Client relationship, which cannot be resolved.”
Local Attorney Luis Yañez and his co-counsel are the third set of attorneys to withdraw from representing Rosales since attorney Omar Carmona filed the initial removal petition on August 24.
Rosales’ initial attorney, Cristina Montes, withdrew from the case on August 29, and Yañez and attorney Francisco Macias joined the suit. Macias later withdrew as co-counsel, and attorneys David Chavez and former Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson joined as co-counsel.
The County Attorney’s amended petition includes information not included in Carmona’s initial filing. It cites deficiencies in her office’s handling of the Walmart Shooting case.
Bad Faith by Rosales
Bernal’s filing states that “in order to delay proceedings in this removal case, Rosales made representations to this Honorable Court and undersigned counsel which have proven to be false.”
“She has further failed to notify this Honorable Court and undersigned counsel that she would not comply with her representations or provide a reason for same,” Bernal states in her amended petition. “This conduct can only be viewed as bad faith by Rosales and a deliberate attempt to delay these proceedings based upon false assertions.”
KTSM learned from multiple sources unable to speak publicly on the matter that a deal had been reached for Rosales to step down from her position by 5 p.m. Friday, November 18. Ultimately, Rosales did not follow through, and instead, her attorney on record withdrew as her representation in the removal trial.
8th Court of Appeals Case
On Friday, Rosales requested an emergency stay of proceedings in the Walmart trial after Judge Sam Medrano ordered the District Attorney and former Assistant District Attorney Curtis Cox to appear in his court for a hearing date set for November 30.
Rosales is contesting the gag order by Judge Medrano on July 1, despite never making an initial appeal of the gag ruling in Medrano’s court.
The 8th Court of Appeals motion Friday lists Rosales’ attorney as Araceli Solis. Several other motions for substitution of counsel on behalf of Rosales were also filed but eventually rejected by the 8th Court of Appeals for improper styling. A second document for a motion to substitute counsel was also dismissed because it was filed by another attorney, Jeff Rago, despite having Araceli Solis’ name as the new attorney on record.
The attorneys for the accused Walmart shooter, Patrick Crusius, argued that neither Yañez, Solis, or Rago ever appeared as representation for the State (District Attorney’s Office) in any public records, rolls of attorneys, or other legal documents as required by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
KTSM will continue to follow the latest in the civil trial to remove District Attorney Yvonne Rosales. This story may be updated.
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