Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw (D2) submitted his resignation letter to the City Clerk Thursday to become an associate judge for a state district court in Bexar County.

According to the letter, the first-term councilman’s last day will be Jan. 7. He will work in juvenile justice at the 436th Judicial District Court.

“For the past 18 months, I have humbly served the citizens of San Antonio and I thank them for this great opportunity,” he wrote. “The superb leadership in the COSA [City of San Antonio] offices and the collective focus on creating the best city for our constituents creates a wonderful work environment that I will miss immensely.”

Shaw was elected in a runoff election in June 2017 against then-incumbent Councilman Alan Warrick, whose campaign fell apart after he was found drunk on a public park bench at City Hall in May 2017.

“Cruz is a no-nonsense leader who will be missed at City Hall,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said via text. “His quick wit and incisive analysis of the issues have been a tremendous asset. He has done a great job representing District 2 and the city as a whole. I have no doubt that he will be a great judge and I wish him the best.”

According to the city charter, a special election must be held if there are more than 120 days left in the term – which there are in this case. However, “such special election shall be held on the next authorized uniform election date that occurs before the regular election,” which is the next Council and mayoral election on May 4. The Council, with a majority vote, will likely appoint an interim Council member. A temporary replacement is not required, according to a written briefing on the subject prepared by the City Attorney’s Office.

If someone is selected, they can choose whether to campaign for the full two-year term.

The selection process is dictated by a City ordinance, which says the resignation will be officially accepted by City Council at its next meeting.

Update: The next meeting would have been on Jan. 10, but instead a special City Council meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. to accept Shaw’s resignation. Immediately following that, the City will begin accepting applications for the interim position until 5 p.m. on Jan. 4.

Council will meet during its regular briefing session on Wednesday, Jan. 9 to review applications, establish eligibility of applicants. Council [then] selects up to three applicants for interviews, according to the online agenda. The next day, City Council will vote to fill the vacancy.

Keith Toney was appointed to the interim position in District 2, after City Council interviewed several other candidates, for four months starting in August 2014 after then-Councilwoman Ivy Taylor was elected interim mayor (then-Mayor Julián Castro was selected to serve as secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department in the Obama administration).

Toney lost a runoff election to Warrick in 2014 and ran a brief campaign in 2017 before backing Warrick against Shaw in that election. Some political insiders expect Toney to run again in 2019.

District 2, which includes the city’s East Side, has a population of more than 170,000 and the largest population of black residents (21.4 percent) compared with other districts, according to U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey estimates. Its population is 55.8 percent Hispanic.

Some of the biggest concerns held by residents include public safety, poverty, street improvements, gentrification, and development in the historically neglected Eastside district, which has seen an influx of public and private investment in its near-downtown neighborhoods.

“Councilman Shaw opened his own law practice in the heart of District 2 in September 2010, the Law Office of William H. Shaw,” reads his online biography. “He handles criminal defense, real estate, probate, and personal injury.” Before that, he served as a law clerk and attorney in the Law Office of Johnny W. Thomas for two years. Before officially launching his campaign for the Council seat, Shaw served on the City’s Zoning Commission since 2013.

Iris Dimmick

Iris Dimmick

Senior reporter Iris Dimmick covers City Hall, politics, development, and more. Contact her at iris@sareport.org