ORANGE COUNTY — Orange County Judge Dean Crooks startled a large crowd and announced his resignation in a packed commissioners court where tax abatement was under discussion.
The judge is resigning effective March 19.
Industry representatives are upset with Crooks' raising questions about tax abatement. Crooks wasn't specific if that's why he's resigning. He called the meeting into recess and then left without answering questions.
Orange County is trying to attract a Chevron plant and many other business leaders say tax abatement is important to help their companies grow and expand.
Crooks was sworn in as Interim Orange County Judge in April of last year and won the primary election.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Paul Gothia was named Interim Judge.
Commissioners must decide whether to leave him in that position until the next election. If so, they'll have to fill his seat on Commissioners Court.