An emotional Commissioners Court

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Photo by Jill Karnicki/Houston Chronicle

The verdict is in and Judge William “Bill” McLeod is out.

McLeod tearfully appeared before the Harris County Commissioners Court Tuesday afternoon after he unintentionally resigned from his position on the Harris County Civil Court by declaring his intention to run for Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. McLeod had been in his position for three months.

“I messed up,” McLeod said to the Washington Post. “The mistake was it was an archaic 180-page document that I did not know contained this particular provision. I guess I did not scour everything that could possibly disrupt a run.”

People lined up to speak on McLeod’s behalf, arguing that voters want to see him remain in his position and touting his community activism and overall character. Supporter Adam Milasincic presented a letter signed by over 50 attorneys calling for the court to allow McLeod to remain on the bench as a holdover.

Commissioners Adrian Garcia and Rodney Ellis referenced their own experiences of having to leave their public offices in order to run for another.

The Commissioners Court voted 3-2 to replace McLeod with Lesley Briones.

Earlier in the day, the commissioners voted unanimously to give the county attorney the authority to sue chemical plant KMCO for the Crosby chemical explosion.

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