Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez stated on Monday that he is withdrawing from consideration for the top post at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
His decision comes more than a year after President Joe Biden first nominated him for ICE director.
After multiple confirmation hearings, his nomination stalled out following the surfacing of an affidavit that discussed a domestic violence investigation involving Gonzalez and his wife, Melissa Gonzalez, former president of Houston Community College Southeast (HCC).
For her part, Melissa Gonzalez denied the account provided in the affidavit.
“Any suggestion that I filed or made a complaint against my husband is false and defamatory,” Melissa Gonzalez wrote in a letter provided by the White House, per Houston Public Media. “To be clear, the assertions referenced in the affidavit, as they relate to me, my husband, or my marriage, are completely false.”
In a string of tweets on Monday, Sheriff Gonzalez announced his withdrawal:
1/5 On Sunday, I informed President Biden's administration that I am respectfully withdrawing from consideration for the post of Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) June 27, 2022
“On Sunday, I informed President Biden’s administration that I am respectfully withdrawing from consideration for the post of Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“More than a year has passed since the President nominated me for this important position, which has not had a Senate-confirmed director since the Obama administration.
“I arrived at this decision after prayerfully considering what’s best for our nation, my family, and the people of Harris County who elected me to serve a second term as Sheriff.
“I am grateful to President Biden for the honor of nominating me, and I wish this administration well as it strives to overcome the paralyzing political gridlock that threatens far more than our nation’s border. Frankly, the dysfunction threatens America’s heart and soul.
“My love for America and my desire to serve during these contentious times is stronger than ever. Ensuring the safety and security of the people of Harris County is a great honor, and I am fully devoted to continuing to fulfill this responsibility.”
Leadership duties at ICE will remain with the current acting director, Tae Johnson, who took over the job from the previous interim director, Jonathan Fahey, after he resigned following two weeks on the job in January 2021.