Skip to Content

El Paso County Commissioners Court approves DA’s request to transfer asset forfeiture funds for legal defense from the County’s SB4 lawsuit

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Paso County Commissioner Court approved District Attorney Bill Hick's request to transfer $53,000 from the asset forfeiture fund to use for his legal defense in a County lawsuit against him involving SB4.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the County of El Paso had sued the DA's office after Hicks had previously said he would enforce SB4 if it was upheld as a law.

SB4 is a controversial immigration law that would allow Texas law enforcement to arrest migrants who enter the U.S. illegally. The law has not gone into effect because of legal challenges.

DA Hicks had previously requested for the County to cover his legal fees by using money from the County's general fund but had been denied.

This time, the DA was requesting to use money from the asset forfeiture fund, which is money seized from criminals.

Commissioner Carlos Leon said he believed this was a transparency issue because the DA could have had his defense paid for by the state.

“You could have gotten your defense paid for by the state. And you refused. You again decided to put this expense on the backs of taxpayer funding here in El Paso," said Leon.

DA Hicks said the state had offered him a "Junior Assistant Attorney General." He says he did not feel confident in how this person would represent him.

“This Commissioners Court refused to provide funding for me and left me the alternative of a junior associate of the Texas Attorney General's Office who was not aligned with my position, not aligned with my legal theories,” said Hicks.

The Commissioners Court initially voted not to accept the transfer of funds but later voted to approve it.

This came after Kevin McCary, assistant county attorney, informed the Commissioners Court that the law allowed the DA to use the money from the asset forfeiture account for his defense.

“As long as those monies are coming from the asset forfeiture source the statute gives him great discretion in using it for that purpose," said McCary.

Commissioner Leon would go on to say that he understood more clearly that he could not stop the DA from using the money, which was ultimately the reason why he made the motion to have the DA's request reconsidered.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Tony Gutierrez


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content