County Attorney Press Releases

October 2017 - Posts

El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal Receives The Women Of Distinction Award From The Texas Association Of Mexican American Chambers Of Commerce

The award was presented this afternoon in Austin, TX.

The Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) today presented El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal with the Women of Distinction Award at a ceremony held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas.

Ms. Bernal was among 12 Texas women who received the award for their leadership and for having a positive impact in their communities. According to TAMACC, Ms. Bernal was honored not only for becoming the first woman elected County Attorney in El Paso County, but also for her leadership in defending the rights of immigrants during this past year.

In February County Attorney Bernal denounced the arrest of a transgender woman victim of domestic violence by ICE agents inside the El Paso County Courthouse. The incident happened few minutes after the undocumented immigrant had obtained a protective order against her abuser. The arrest produced a national media storm due to its perceived implications for victims of domestic violence who in the past have felt protected from abuser’s threats of deportation if they denounced the abuse to police. Bernal worked with the El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar, Congressman Beto O’Rourke and the federal authorities to investigate the incident and prevent, as much as possible, a chilling effect among the immigrant community victims of crimes.

During this year’s legislative session, El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal testified in Austin against Senate Bill 4, also known as the anti-sanctuary cities law. Bernal warned legislators that several of the provisions included in the bill not only could potentially produce a spike in the crime rate in communities with high concentration of undocumented immigrants, but that she believed some of those provision were unconstitutional. After the Texas Legislature approved SB4 and Governor Abbot signed the bill into law, Bernal joined dozens of cities and organizations in suing the State of Texas to block the implementation of the bill. The legal fight over the legality continues until today before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Jo Anne Bernal has served as County Attorney in El Paso County since 2009. She is married and has two daughters.

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JAB Women of Distinction Award Press Release.pdf 


5th Annual Cycle For Change Brings Together Cyclists From Texas, New Mexico And Chihuahua In Support Of Survivors Of Domestic Violence

The event will take place Sunday, October 15, at Gallegos Park

El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal today announced that almost 80 cyclists have already registered for the 5th annual cycling tour “Cycle for Change: From Surviving to Thriving.” The event will take place on Sunday October 15, 2017, starting at 8:00 a.m. at Gallegos Park (7361 Bosque Rd., Canutillo, TX).

The event has two main objectives. The first one is to bring awareness about the problems survivors of domestic violence face once they decide to leave an abusive relationship. The second objective is to raise funds to provide scholarships for educational opportunities and therapeutic services for survivors of domestic violence.

In 2016 more than 300 cyclists from El Paso, Las Cruces and Ciudad Juarez participated in the event, raising more than $10,000 in scholarship funds that were distributed to survivors of domestic violence. Among this year’s recipients we had an immigrant from Vietnam and an Iraq war veteran.

“We have been working hard to grow attendance to this year’s Cycle for Change event because we want to help as many survivors of domestic violence as possible,” said El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal.

“Participating in the cycling event is not only a great way to support our victims, it is also a wonderful fun event for the whole family; we will have music, food and an special appearance by the El Paso Chihuahua’s mascot Chico,” Bernal concluded.

The 2017 Cycle for Change event is being hosted again this year in collaboration with El Paso Villa Maria. The shelter is a temporary home that provides homeless women, many of whom are survivors of domestic violence, all the tools they need to thrive in life, including board and lodging, health and substance abuse counseling, education and employment training, and legal and financial assistance.

Other sponsors of this year’s event include the El Paso District Attorney’s Office and more than 15 local businesses. El Paso Chihuahuas’ mascot Chico will make a special appearance from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. to take pictures with the children.

This year participants in the event will be able to choose from 4 different courses:

· 50 Mile Route: Star time 8:00 a.m.

· 30 Mile Route: Start time: 8:30 a.m.

· 10 Mile Family Ride: Start time 8:45 a.m.

· 1 Mile Children’s Ride: Start time 8:55 a.m.

For the three longest courses, there will be rest stops with water and porta-potties, and SAG vehicles.

There will be free T-shirts to the first 300 registered participants. Cyclists will be automatically entered into a raffle for a chance to win several great prizes, including gift cards, restaurant certificates, and cycling gear.

The cost to register for the cycling event is $40 for adults until this Thursday, and goes up to $45 on Friday, October 6, 2017. The registration cost for active duty military is $25, and children under 13 years of age pay $10. Individuals who want to support the scholarship fund, but are unable to attend the event, can register as “Sleep-in for a Change,” and pay only $20.

Individuals interested in participating can register online at, or take advantage of any of our two on-site registration events:

1. Thursday, October 12, 2017, from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m., at Up and Running Store, 3233 N. Mesa St., El Paso, Texas 79902.

2. Friday, October 13, 2017, from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m., at the Trek Bicycle Store, 1886 Joe Battle Blvd., #205, El Paso Texas 79936.

There will be on-site registration the day of the event at Gallegos Park starting at 7:00 a.m.

WHO: El Paso County Attorney’s Office/ Villa Maria Shelter

WHAT: 5th Annual cycling tour “Cycle for Change”

WHEN: Sunday, October 15, 2017 @ 8:00 a.m.

WHERE: Gallegos Park, 7361 Bosque Rd., Canutillo, TX

For footage from last year’s event, please follow this link:

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2017 Cycle for Change Press Release.pdf 

Cycle for Change 2017 Flyer.pdf