A Texas judge apologized Wednesday over a racist comment posted on Facebook suggesting a black man suspected of killing a San Antonio cop should be lynched.
Burnet County Judge James Oakley wrote that it’s “time for a tree and a rope” underneath the mugshot of accused cop killer Otis Tyrone McKane.
The judge denies it was a racist statement.
“Maybe I watched too many Westerns when I was little,” the judge explained to the Huffington Post.
Judge Oakley posted the racially-charged remark under a post he shared from the San Antonio Police Department’s Facebook page regarding the news of the arrest of McKane, a black man, who is the prime suspect in the murder of San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi on Sunday.
“I never made that connection, but I do see how somebody could make that connection and be offended towards that,” he said. “That was not my intent.”
PEC Truth Watch, a group that monitors Texas’ Pedernales Electric Cooperative where Oakley is Vice President, published a statement about the incident.
Larry Landaker, who served on the of directors from 2009-2015 wrote a statement on the PEC Truthwatch blog saying if he did not apologize, he should resign.
“If he does not resign from PEC, other directors should impeach him,” wrote Landaker.
“They should call a special meeting of the board and address the matter forthwith. There is no place on the PEC board of directors for an open racist. This is not political correctness. It is racism in its rawest form and it is offensive. This cannot become the new norm.”
Oakley presides over a five-member commissioners court in Burnet County in addition to serving on the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s executive committee and the board for the Pedernales Electric Cooperative.
“I would also point out that I’m an administrative judge and do not preside over criminal court,” Oakley assured.
“To be clear, I advocate due process.”
After a bit of reflection, Oakley admitted his comment was “curt and harsh” and concluded he could have used a better choice of words.
“What I should have posted, if anything, is a comment that more clearly reflects my opinion on the cowardly crime of the senseless murder of a law enforcement officer. ”
A few Burnet County residents even called out Oakley’s comment over social media saying it was “despicable” brought his ability to judge into question.
Meanwhile, fellow colleagues called out not only his character, but his intellect.
“It is well known that Mr. Oakley, with limited talent and intellect, aspires to higher office,” wrote Larry Landaker on the PEC Truthwatch blog.
“Sadly for him, his Facebook statement will follow his future and haunt him into the afterlife.”
In 2000, Oakley was appointed Governor George W. Bush where he remains on the Regional Review Committee for Community Development Block Grants from Hud.
In 2009, he was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Commissions on Law Enforcement, where his term expires in 2017, according to the PEC’s website.