Guillermo Contreras reports at The San Antonio Express-News
As District Attorney Nico LaHood tightens his embrace of anti-vaccination activism, his critics don’t just include medical professionals.
Lawyers who helped elect him — and who have spent months shaking their heads at multiple controversies involving him — say LaHood’s strenuous advocacy for the debunked notion that childhood vaccines “can and do” cause autism, as he put it, could put the integrity of his office at risk.
His stance against vaccinations could affect child-custody and child-abuse cases, where Texas Child Protective Services caseworkers are represented by LaHood’s staff, they pointed out. In many cases, LaHood’s prosecutors have argued that failing to vaccinate kids is medical neglect, said defense attorney Joseph Hoelscher, who has sparred with LaHood on social media.
“So the next time I deal with that in court, what is the prosecutor going to say?” Hoelscher asked. “There’s a lot of cases where parents have arguments with CPS about their child’s medical care, and having a DA take a fringe position like this undermines the credibility of the department’s medical decision-making.”