Watch your words.
That's the lesson Bill McLeod, a civil court judge in Harris County, Texas, learned after he accidentally triggered his own resignation. McLeod filed a transfer of campaign treasurer appointment with the Texas Ethics Commission declaring he would like to run for the Supreme Court of Texas.
Well, well, well, little did McLeod know but this filing triggered Article 16, Section 65 of the Texas Constitution "which considers such an announcement by anyone holding a county judicial post an automatic resignation," according to The Houston Chronicle.
The report states:
McLeod, who was elected in November, hopes that a different provision of the constitution will help rectify his mistake. Article 16, Section 17 states that a county Commissioners Court is not required to appoint a successor after a county officer resigns, and "may allow the officeholder who resigned…to remain in office" as a holdover. If this happens, McLeod would have to run again in 2020 even though he was elected to a four-year term.
"This is insane," McLeod said Wednesday.
"All of the judges are going, 'You did what? How? We didn't even know (the constitutional provision) existed."
The Harris County attorney's office says that McLeod can sit on the bench in the meantime until commissioners decide to grant him holdover status or appoint a successor.
Despite this snafu, McLeod says he'd happily accept a shortened term if it allows him to keep his seat on the bench:
"It's kind of, like, my punishment."
McLeod does have his fair share of supporters who are hoping he'll be reinstated, though the response has been mixed.
"We need judges like him who really want to make a difference and who take their job seriously," said Karen Taylor, an attorney and McLeod supporter.
"These are not the judges we need to be getting rid of because they ran afoul of some 'gotcha' statute that no one really understands."
A Harris County Commissioners Court will decide McLeod's fate.
Best of luck, sir.