The New DA

The office of District Attorney for the County of El Paso is the most powerful elected office in El Paso.

The Mayor? He has to do what the City Manager tells him.

County Judge? Nice work if you can get it, but limited power.

The DA is working every day. She’s got her own investigators, who carry guns and badges.

The District Attorney decides which crimes get prosecuted, and who walks.

The DA is integral in deciding whether ethics charges against other elected officials are forwarded to the State.

The District Attorney has relationships with law enforcement agencies, on both sides of the border.

And the DA operates behind the veil of law enforcement secrecy. She can legally refuse to divulge any information that would hinder the investigation or prosecution of crime, and that’s a pretty big blanket.

El Paso has a new District Attorney. Jaime Esparza was the El Paso County District Attorney for 28 years. Yvonne Rosales was sworn in on January 1, 2021.

28 years is along time to ingrain a culture.

Ms. Rosales dismissed 25% of Mr. Esparza’s staff when she took office.

Now Ms. Rosales wants to hire graduate law students to work as Assistant District Attorneys.

Changing corporate cultures is traumatic. Axe and scalpel and guillotine are all appropriate tools for changing cultures. So are hugs and kisses.

And the prosecutors’ work doesn’t stop. The legal cases are ongoing. Ms. Rosales is juggling chainsaws and pulling the nine to five.

Ms. Rosales tenure should be interesting. Let’s pay attention.


  1. “Those who by valorous ways become princes, like these men, acquire a principality with difficulty, but they keep it with ease. The difficulties they have in acquiring it rise in part from the new rules and methods which they are forced to introduce to establish their government and its security. And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things, because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.”

    The Prince Chapter VI, N. Machiavelli, 1513

  2. “Hence it is to be remarked that, in seizing a state, the usurper ought to examine closely into all those injuries which it is necessary for him to inflict, and to do them all at one stroke so as not to have to repeat them daily; and thus by not unsettling men he will be able to reassure them, and win them to himself by benefits…For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them may last longer.”

    The Prince Chapter VIII, N. Machiavelli, 1513

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