The restraining order prohibiting newly elected Houston Community College trustee Dave Wilson from taking the oath of office until questions about his residency can be resolved will remain in effect for another two weeks, a judge ruled Monday, and the legality of a private swearing-in reported by the District 2 representative is still unclear.
Meanwhile, the HCC board is scheduled to convene and elect officers on Thursday.
Whether Wilson will be allowed on or restricted from the dais is undetermined. Whether trustees can proceed with the meeting or vote on items before the District 2 trustee-elect’s legal matters are resolved also is unknown.
After the filing, the trustee-elect submitted notarized documents to the Texas Secretary of State’s office and HCC showing that he already had been sworn in.
Reiterating what he said at a hearing last Friday, State District Court Judge Mike Engelhart said Monday that he wants to hear more information on several issues before ruling on whether Wilson can take office.
Keith Gross, Wilson’s attorney, said his client plans to appeal Monday’s ruling.
“It’s like granting an injunction against knocking a building down after the building has been knocked down,” he said in court.
Robert Soard, the county attorney’s first assistant, said the HCC board would be irreparably harmed if Wilson takes office and casts votes while the courts decide if he is eligible to serve.
It would be nice if Judge Engelhart could issue a ruling before Thursday’s meeting, but I can’t blame him for wanting to get all the information he can before making up his mind. At this point, I don’t think anything would surprise me.
There’s a lot of talk in the comments to the previous post about this officeholder or that not meeting residency requirements, with some rumbling about other complains being filed. Knock yourselves out, I say. What I want out of the Wilson case, more than anything else, is for there to be a standard that we can all more or less agree on as to what “residency” actually means. If Wilson is found to meet that standard, then I don’t see how anyone could fail to meet it. If he is found to be in violation, then at least we have a line that has been drawn, and we can see if anyone else falls outside it. First things first, though, and that’s to decide about Wilson.