Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton published a new proposed rule that would enhance reporting requirements for District Attorneys and County Attorneys presiding over a county with a population of 250,000 or more. 

The proposal would require additional quarterly and annual reports and establish official definitions for terms such as “violent crime.” Further, the rule would provide a process for attaining any overdue reports and outline consequences if a District Attorney intentionally sought to violate the enhanced reporting requirements. A public comment period of thirty days went into effect on March 8. After the comment period ends, the Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) can enact a Final Rule. 

Texas Government Code §41.006 permits the OAG to require reports from District Attorneys and County Attorneys relating to criminal matters that are in the interest of the state. The information collected under the proposed rule will assist citizens in determining whether their local elected officials are inadequately prosecuting certain categories of crime, releasing dangerous criminals back into the community, engaging in selective prosecution, or otherwise failing to uphold their obligations. 

“District Attorneys who choose not to prosecute criminals appropriately have created unthinkable damage in Texas communities. Some of these officials have developed an unacceptable pattern of failing to uphold the law and adopting policies that privilege criminals over innocent victims,” said Attorney General Paxton. “These enhanced reporting standards will create much-needed transparency and enable the public to hold their elected officials accountable.”

To read the proposed rule, click here.