New Year, New DA

A primary, a run-off and an Election Day win later and Luis Saenz was finally sworn in as the new Cameron County district attorney. He replaces former District Attorney Armando Villalobos, whose final months in office were marred by a federal indictment against him in connection to the former Judge Abel Limas racketeering case.

"We can TMt languish in the past, Saenz said. We've got to turn the page and move forward. The people want to move forward, and I TMm going to take them forward - I TMm ready to do that."

One of the first tasks for Saenz was examining every employee position at the DA's office. He said a total of 30 people were fired from their jobs. The new DA said it TMs unfortunate but just part of the transition.

"It's just a different philosophy in the way that I run the office, Saenz said. For example (Villalobos) had 20 investigators, I cut 10 of those because I feel that we don TMt need 20 investigators, if anything I need prosecutors. I see the office as a prosecuting office not a police office."

Saenz adds there are several other projects that he's already working out the details for and told those at his swearing in ceremony, that he will keep an open-door policy for new ideas.

Topping his list of to-do's, is changing the way the office takes on cases.

"(When) you receive the cases from law enforcement agencies, if you don TMt work them properly, you've got defendants sitting in jail longer than they should, so we're hoping to modify that."