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| Courts |

Big Shake-Up in Craig Watkins's Office As D.A. Loses First Asst. Terri Moore and Mike Ware

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Seems like only four and a half years ago that Terri Moore joined the Dallas County District Attorney's Office as Craig Watkins's first assistant. But Moore, once a perennial candidate for the Tarrant County District Attorney's job, is out effective July 1. So too is Mike Ware, head of the Conviction Integrity Unit and one of the key players responsible for getting the wrongly convicted out of prison. Ware was also a star of Dallas DNA.

There's also been an addition amongst the subtractions: David Alex has been named the new felony trial bureau chief, replacing Kevin Brooks, who adiosed it back to private prctice.

Ware and Moore aren't talking. Watkins is -- at least, in a statement sent by spokesperson Jamille Bradfield. In it, the D.A. says the twosome are heading back to Tarrant County and private practice. He also says ...

"When I first took office four and a half years ago, I recognized the necessary changes that needed to be made to restore credibility to this office and the criminal justice system as a whole in Dallas County. In order for me to implement those changes, I wanted to bring someone in who was an outsider like me. I was fortunate to have Terri Moore come on board as First Assistant and together we have put into practice several new policies and initiatives to improve the overall effectiveness of this office. From the open file policy to the memo agreement to no longer accepting at-large cases (and the list goes on), everything we have implemented has been and continues to be a success.

When we decided to take a serious look at legitimate post-conviction claims of innocence, I was equally as fortunate to have Mike Ware join us in July 2007 when we established the nation's first Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU). Mike's legal experience made him the ideal candidate to spearhead the kickoff of this innovative unit and the results of the CIU's work have been well-documented around the world over the last few years.

Both Ms. Moore and Mr. Ware have groomed a number of talented prosecutors at our office to ensure we have continued success in building on the foundation we laid during my first term. We wish Ms. Moore, Mr. Brooks and Mr. Ware the absolute best with their respective private practices, and we look forward to even more progress as we continue to seek justice and keep the citizens of Dallas County safe."

Russell Wilson's taking Ware's place. Watkins says he expects to name a new first assistant "in the coming weeks."

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