Woman arrested after filing to run for judge

March 10, 2012 5:46:39 PM PST
Jessica Siegel went to the Montgomery County Republican Headquarters Friday to file her application to run for state District Court judge, but she ended up in the custody of the Texas Rangers.

We met Siegel at her Montgomery County apartment just hours after she bonded out of jail.

"They handcuffed me and took me to the Montgomery County Jail," Siegel said. "I'm quite upset about it. I'm very angry about it, and I was shocked."

A graduate of University of Houston law school and mother of four, Siegel has practiced law for more than 12 years. But on Friday, Texas Rangers took her into custody as she tried to file her application to run against incumbent Tracy Gilbert for 418th state District Court judge.

Siegel's friend, Jennie Morton, was with her when the arrest happened. So was Siegel's seven-year-old son, Noah.

"I felt so sorry for her. Noah is sitting there playing, and I'm going, 'how awful.' To be in here five minutes. We're taking pictures, having a great time and poor Noah has to witness his mother being arrested," Morton said.

A source close to the investigation told us Siegel lied about her address on paperwork -- twice -- in order to run for the position. Her applications were rejected and now she's off the ballot, leaving Gilbert's position uncontested.

"I think they don't want me to run. Why? I really don't know" Siegel said.

According to the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office Public Integrity Division, they "have to protect the political process and we're not going to allow any individual to run for office in Montgomery County without meeting the constitutional requirements."

"I agree with that, and I do meet the constitutional requirements," Siegel said.

Siegel says she plans to fight the charges against her in court and push forward with her campaign.

"I am gonna try to get back on the ballot if that is a possibility, I am going to try to do that," Siegel said.

In order to run for state district judge in Texas, you have to live in the county where you're running for at least two years prior to the general election date, which is this November.

For more information on this story, check out The Courier of Montgomery County, one of our Houston Community Newspapers partners.