Texas County Judge Takes Unprecedented Leave From Office


Melvic Degracia for Harris County, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed attorney, Lee Kaplan.

Kevin Price, Editor at Large for USABR and Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business show, recently interviewed Lee Kaplan of the business law firm, Smyser, Kaplan, and Veselka about the politics of Texas and nationwide. Kaplan is a long time contributor of the Price of Business show and brings important perspectives on politics, business, and the law.


Price and Kaplan discuss the surprising announcement that Harris County Judge Lina Hildago will be taking a lengthy leave from office to deal with depression.
This segment will look at the courage of Hildago for taking this action and the teaching moment it provides to others.

“I am writing to share with you that I am one of the over 21 million American adults that is suffering from clinical depression. For some time, I have been coping with this challenge, and it was undiagnosed until last month. Based on my doctor’s recommendation, I checked myself into an out of state facility to receive inpatient treatment in late July. It is important for me personally and professionally to confront this issue swiftly, so I will be taking temporary leave from the office while I am receiving treatment. My medical care team and I are hopeful that I will be able to resume my normal schedule by early September. I remain passionate about Harris County and its people and look forward to returning at full strength.

From the beginning of my tenure as County Judge, I have stressed the importance of mental health services. Depression and other mental health illnesses are part of the human condition, and mental health illnesses should be treated just like any other health condition. I feel so strongly that we should be open and forthright about mental health issues, which historically have been tarred with stigma that have prevented people from seeking the treatment they need.

My experience has been difficult, but I am taking it as an opportunity to be open about my own struggle, my own challenges, and to encourage others, who need help, to seek treatment. All of us know someone – a friend, a coworker, or a family member – who suffers from depression. I encourage every person that is struggling with mental health challenges to look for support in your community, your loved ones, and your doctor. If you need help finding support in Harris County, the Department of Public Health maintains a list of mental health resources that residents can find at: publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Resources/Mental-Health-Resources, or you can call 9-8-8. Remember to prioritize your own health and that you are not alone.I will remain available in the event of an emergency, and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management remains fully engaged and prepared to respond to any potential incident or disaster during this time, and I will continue to remain available to staff. Since Commissioners Court rules indicate that the senior (longest standing) member of the court shall preside in my absence, Commissioner Rodney Ellis has graciously agreed to preside over Commissioners Court in my absence. Additionally, my chief of staff will continue to manage the day-to-day operations in my office.

I am grateful for your understanding, as well as the support of my colleagues, friends, and family. I hope to share more about my experience upon my return.” 

The Price of Business is one of the longest running shows of its kind in the country and is in markets coast to coast. The Host, Kevin Price, is a multi-award winning author, broadcast journalist, and syndicated columnist. Learn more about the show and its digital partners at www.PriceofBusiness.com (scroll down to the bottom of the page).


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