The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is assessing damage caused by a burst pipe to a portion of its offices in the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center. While Bexar County facilities were closed all week due to inclement weather, the water damage was discovered Thursday.
“Furniture, equipment and some files sustained water damage on the 5th Floor of the Justice Center. The damage was confined to a space shared by some members of the Family Violence and Public Integrity and Cyber Crime Divisions,” said Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales.
Staff from the District Attorney’s Office and Bexar County Facilities Management Department has been working to remove the water and get a complete assessment of the damage so that repairs can be made.
“While a small percentage of our physical files were damaged, this does not impact our ability to seek justice. We maintain a digital copy of all case files so that we can share the evidence with defense counsel. Additionally, on January 1, 2021, we began requiring law enforcement to submit their cases with our office digitally so that we can expedite the review process and use less paper,” Gonzales said.
Since the pandemic started last March, the District Attorney’s Office staff has been able to work remotely. While clean up and repairs take place, the staff can work either from home or in other spaces in the office where they can safely maintain social distance protocols.
“With criminal jury trials still on hold in Bexar County, we have been participating in mostly pretrial hearing and pleas via Zoom. We can continue to do this work from any location as long as we have a reliable internet connection. Our staff continues to work on cases to prepare them for trial as soon as jury trials resume. I know these delays are frustrating for victims of crime. Our advocates have been in contact with them to let them know that we continue to work on their cases, but those that must be resolved through trial are, unfortunately, not going to proceed for a while longer,” Gonzales said.CLICK HERE for the first amended joint City of San Antonio and Bexar County Winter Weather Emergency Declaration.