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Court Reluctantly Grants Another Delay in Gonzales' Texas School Case

District Attorney Asks More Time, Changes Indictment; Judge Frustrated

January 28, 2003       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Dr. Joe E. Gonzales

The continuing saga of former Bay City Schools Superintendent Dr. Joe E. Gonzales is doing just that, continuing, in San Angelo, Texas. (Please see column in last issue of

News reports from Texas describe "a frustrated 391st District Judge Tom Gossett reluctantly" granting oral requests from both the prosecution and the defense for a continuance of the case.

"The community is very interested in this case and the community needs to know this case will be resolved," the judge was quoted as saying in an article Jan. 22 in the San Angelo Standard-Times by writer Gretchen M. Wintermantel. "I'm going to grant one more continuance . . . one last continuance," the judge said.

The jurist, described as agitated, commented: "Justice delayed is justice denied."

The delay came when District Attorney Stephen Smith asked the court to try the case on a different aspect of the indictment, whichwas slated for jury selection last Monday, Jan. 27. Instead of an allegation of theft on May 17, 2001, Smith now asks that the matter be tried on an allegation of Nov. 24, 1999. No other details of the need for the request nor the difference in the two allegations were available.

The judge granted the delay after Gerald Goldstein, attorney for Dr. Gonzales, sought more time to prepare the defense for the different witnesses who would be involved on the new indictment. The judge granted the request and said he would call the second case in 90 days and if the state is not ready he will call the first case proposed for trial.

Jury selection is now slated for Mar. 17 in the case, with pre-trial on Mar. 4. Meanwhile, Gonzales is on paid leave by action of the board of education from his $165,000 a year job as superintendent of the McAllen, Texas, School District.

Bay Cityans and observers in the area who follow school activities also are interested in the case, since Dr. Gonzales launched his career as a superintendent here and is a native of Freeland and graduate of Saginaw Arthur Hill High School. He also received an education degree from Michigan State University, a doctorate from Wayne State University and was a well-known football coach and administrator at St. Johns (MI) high school before coming to Bay City in 1984. He left Bay City for Texas in 1997.

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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