Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday that Judge David Mendoza will lead the newly created Office of Professional Integrity.
Judge Mendoza will be a resource for the approximately 700 employees of the district attorney’s office, including prosecutors, investigators and other staff.
Beginning Feb. 1, Mendoza will be available to advise them on ethics and professionalism, as part of Ogg’s philosophy of pursuing justice over criminal convictions.
“There are few jobs where judgement is more important than it is as a prosecutor,” Ogg said. “Judge Mendoza is a respected member of the local bar, having served in multiple roles in our justice system. His experience will be a tremendous asset to our office, ensuring that our lawyers and staff always have access to expertise on issues of ethics.”
Judge Mendoza will also oversee the district attorney’s training section and be an integral part of ongoing revisions to the previous administration’s policies and procedures. His office will address such matters as appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion, discovery and the Michael Morton Act, use of immunity, and other matters routinely faced by prosecutors.
Because of Judge Mendoza’s longtime contact and interaction with attorneys and staff on both sides of the criminal bar, he brings familiarity and trust to the position.
“I’m honored to be part of a team to assist district attorney’s office employees in performing their duties at the highest professional level,” Mendoza said. Mendoza’s legal career began in 1979 as an assistant district attorney in Harris County. He went on to be a board-certified criminal defense lawyer and practiced for 17 years.
Mendoza served eight years as a county criminal court at law judge and eight years as a state district judge.
He retired from the bench in December.
“I’ve come full circle from when I started as a young foot soldier in my quest to improve Harris County’s criminal justice system,” he said.
Mendoza, a native of Houston, is married to a retired educator.
He has previously been president of the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston and director of the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston.