Lawyer replaces indicted West Texas commissioner

March 6, 2012 4:37:38 AM PST
An attorney has been sworn in to replace a former West Texas county official accused in a federal drug trafficking case.

Tania Chozet took the oath of office Monday to join the El Paso County Commission through the end of the year.

County Judge Veronica Escobar selected Chozet to fill the unexpired term of Willie Gandara Jr. He resigned Feb. 29 after being freed on $50,000 bond.

Gandara was arrested a week earlier on charges of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and three counts of maintaining property for distribution of marijuana

Gandara, who was elected to the county commission in 2008, has maintained his innocence. He abandoned his bid for the Texas House following last month's arrest.