PHOTO: Commissioner Apologizes for Telling Hidalgo to 'Speak English'


A Chambers County Commissioner apologizes to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo after criticizing her for speaking Spanish during her press conferences. Commissioner Mark Tice tweeted "English, this is not Mexico" as Judge Hidalgo addressed last week's fire at ITC's Deer Park facility. The judge says it's a blessing she can speak to all Houstonians...

"I have this blessing that I can speak Spanish. It happens to be that at least a third of the county speaks Spanish .  And I must use that skill that I have."

Judge Hidalgo tells our TV partner KPRC Channel-2 that opinions vary, and she's focused on getting information to the community.

Tice later said he believed the judge was answering some questions from Spanish media in Spanish, without translating the answer into English saying, "I immediately regretted my choice of words."

Here is the complete text of Tice's apology:

"In regards to the comments I issued on Judge Hidalgo’s press conference: From my understanding, there were reporters asking questions in Spanish and Judge Hidalgo responded to those questions in Spanish, with no translation given. If that is not the case, then I sincerely apologize. Like many citizens concerned about the ITC fires, I was very emotional about the effect it was having on everyone. I apologize to Judge Hidalgo, the citizens of my County, and most importantly the entire Hispanic community for hastily acting out with transgression on social media. I recognize how my response could have been interpreted in a derogatory manner and for that I am sorry. I immediately regretted my choice of words. I’m not proud of my behavior, that is not the example I wish to lead by. I can only hope, in time, that my actions can be forgiven. Having grown up in Galena Park, Texas- a place that is and has always been a very diverse community-I was raised with the ideology that you do not judge anyone by their ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Those values mean everything to me. It breaks my heart that I may have said anything that would lead anyone to believe otherwise. Those who know me well, know how deeply rooted I am within the Hispanic community. My sentiments on this issue were grounded in the passion and love that I have for the City of Houston and the surrounding areas. Again, I am truly sorry for creating this unnecessary situation."

Commissioner Mark Tice

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