LaHood: San Antonio Express-News ‘disingenuous’ with report on law license
SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Former Bexar County district attorney Nico LaHood is punching back on the what he called faulty reporting on a State Bar of Texas hearing pertaining to an incident that happened two years ago and his current status with the bar association.
The San Antonio Express-News reported Wednesday that LaHood had been put on probation for a year by a grievance committee Monday because of an outburst against now-current district attorney Joe Gonzales and another attorney in a judge’s chambers during a murder trial.
The Associated Press reported LaHood had his law license suspended for a year.
LaHood told KTSA’s Sean Rima neither was true.
“After the commission heard evidence from Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Stephens and two other witnesses… they essentially said, ‘No, we’re not going to make a finding on those things,” the former prosecutor explained Wednesday afternoon on KTSA. “The only thing they did make a finding on was that, number one, I said something to the press that I shouldn’t have, and, number two, I shouldn’t embarrass the third person. That’s it.”
LaHood went even further, stating San Antonio Express-News columnist Brian Chasnoff — who the prosecutor did not mention by name — had the motivation to write up a misleading story about his case.
“I think it is disingenuous for anyone to report that I am getting ‘punished’, and especially that I was disbarred over something that happened between me and Mr. Gonzales because that is not the case,” he told Rima. “I think the paper — I’m going to say this again because I think this was the crux — has a reckless disregard for truthful reporting and I believe that opinion writer who actually wrote it showed no reasonable journalistic standards.”
The lawyer said the decision Monday had nothing to with the outburst and was instead about inappropriately speaking with the media.
But his is still allowed to practice law.
“The probation is something separate,” LaHood explained. “‘Don’t say anything inappropriate to the press for a year.’ Okay, I got it.”
Gonzales’ office did put out a statement Wednesday about the case.
“I don’t have any direct comment other than to say that I am satisfied with the outcome,” the current top Bexar County prosecutor said in a statement to KTSA News. “This reaffirms my belief that the system works, especially regarding the State Bar’s ability to police its members — especially lawyers that are public officials. It is now time to move on. I will be focusing on my continued efforts at keeping this community safe.”
LaHood told Rima that he plans to hold the newspaper and other organizations accountable for the report. He did not state how he planned to do that.