Texas Lawyer: Commissioners Vote to Replace Judge Who Inadvertently Resigned

Harris County Civil Court-at-Law No. 4 Judge William “Bill” McLeod is off the bench, after accidentally resigning by declaring his interest in running for the Texas Supreme Court. His replacement is Lesley Briones, a 2007 Yale Law School graduate formerly of Vinson & Elkins.

Harris County commissioners voted to replace the judge who accidentally resigned by declaring his interest in running for the Texas Supreme Court, not knowing that the Texas Constitution provision said it meant he automatically had to step down from the bench after announcing his candidacy.

Harris County Assistant County Attorney Doug Ray said that his legal opinion is that McLeod did trigger the automatic resignation provision in the Texas Constitution. He said the County Attorney’s Office found that McLeod had announced to multiple groups that he was running for the Supreme Court, there was a website about his candidacy and McLeod filed paperwork that listed a treasurer for his campaign.

In the meeting where scores of people declared passionate support for former Harris County Civil Court-at-Law No. 4 Judge William “Bill” McLeod, asking commissioners to allow him to keep his bench as a holdover official until a special election in 2020, the audience was booing and yelling loudly as commissioners voted to appoint his replacement.

Commissioners voted 4-1, with Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack against, to appoint Lesley Briones, a 2007 Yale Law School graduate who worked at Vinson & Elkins for four years before becoming COO and general counsel of the Laura & John Arnold Foundation, a major philanthropic nonprofit headquartered in Houston.

More at Texas Lawyer.