The State Bar of Texas placed former Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood on a year of probation this week.
A State Bar panel found LaHood had engaged in professional misconduct after it reviewed evidence that LaHood in May 2017 made an “extrajudicial statement” that would have influenced a court proceeding. The State Bar also ordered him to pay attorneys fees totaling $9,700.92.
The State Bar, which oversees all attorneys licensed to practice law in Texas, commissioned the panel to review evidence after two local attorneys accused LaHood of threatening to destroy their careers.
Joe Gonzales, who later successfully challenged LaHood for the district attorney’s office, and Christian Henrickson claimed in a complaint filed by lawyer Mark Stevens that LaHood threatened them during a murder trial that ultimately ended in mistrial. Henrickson told the Rivard Report then that LaHood threatened Gonzales with shutting down his practice if anyone complained about prosecutorial misconduct. LaHood denied making such statements at the time.
LaHood lost the Democratic primary election to Gonzales last May. Gonzales won the general election last November and started his term as district attorney in January.
LaHood, who has a private law practice, did not respond to a request for comment.
Gonzales said he was satisfied with the State Bar’s decision.
“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,” he said in a prepared statement. “It is now time to move on. I will be focusing on my continued efforts at keeping this community safe.”
LaHood’s probation began Tuesday and will end on March 4, 2020. If LaHood violates any terms of his probation, the State Bar can revoke his probation and LaHood could face losing his ability to practice law.