EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Governor Greg Abbott appointed El Paso attorney Bill Hicks as the successor for the 34th Judicial District Attorney following Yvonne Rosales’ resignation on November 28.
According to Governor Abbott, Hicks will assume the role effective 5 p.m. Wednesday. Hicks is the first Republican to serve as District Attorney of the 34th District, which includes El Paso, Hudspeth, and Culberson Counties. He will serve the remainder of Rosales’ term, which ends in 2024.
“With over two decades of legal experience and a strong track record of public service, Bill Hicks is the ideal candidate to serve as District Attorney for Texans in El Paso, Culberson, and Hudspeth Counties,” said Governor Abbott. “The 34th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will be in good hands under Bill Hicks as he takes the office in the right direction, and I have no doubt that he will restore confidence in the office as he serves honorably and faithfully in this new role.”
According to his biography, Hicks has more than two decades of experience practicing law. He graduated from Texas Tech Law School and opened a practice in the Texas Hill Country before moving to El Paso to join the 34th Judicial District Attorney’s office under Jaime Esparza.
During his tenure in the DA’s office, he was assigned to the Metro Narcotics Task Force and was responsible for supervising and training new prosecutors. Hicks was appointed as judge of the 243rd District Court in 2010 by then-Gov. Rick Perry. He served through 2012 and opened a private practice.
Through a public information request, KTSM learned Hicks requested removal from the indigent defense “wheel” on November 18, 2022. The date he requested to be removed was the date Rosales initially agreed to submit her resignation, according to multiple sources.
Hicks will take over for an office facing multiple hurdles following Rosales’ tenure, including staffing challenges. Thursday, El Paso County Commissioners are expected to vote on a proposal from Rosales’ First District Attorney George Al Hanna to approve funding for $1.8 million to staff ten legal attorney positions and ten Senior Trial Attorney positions.
Rosales’s resignation on November 28 came as she was facing a removal trial from office. Three days later, Rosales invoked her Fifth Amendment Rights to avoid self-incrimination to a series of questions regarding whether she had any involvement in the intimidation of victims’ families in the Walmart shooting case.