12 News Update: County Employee Wins Lawsuit in Election Dispute

Montgomery County tax assessor Tommie Miller got his day in court - and prevailed.

County administrators forced Miller to take unpaid leave from his job because he plans to run for revenue commissioner.

Miller went to court Thursday in protest, saying it would cost him money and give any political opponent a huge advantage.

The hearing itself lasted less than fifteen minutes, but the impact it will have will go on for months.

Miller won't have to take unpaid leave to campaign, at least, not yet.

"We don't have an election until November, and he's not a candidate until he's officially certified by the Democratic Party," said Miller's lawyer, James Anderson.

Despite the fact he's spoken before civic groups and passed out flyers, Miller says the law supports his claim he's not officially a candidate yet. That's because his name appears nowhere on the ballot.

"I don't have opposition in the primary, and I've said that all along so the rules didn't apply," Miller said.

Surprisingly, Montgomery County's attorney took no position on the claim, and Judge William Shashy ruled quickly.

Despite the fast decision, it sets up a bigger fight later on; that is, whether the law itself violates the constitution because it gives an advantage to one small, select group.

"It's a strange law because it really benefits the incumbents and in this case we don't have an incumbent," Anderson said.

Miller and his lawyer aren't saying if or when they'll take that fight on.

But if anyone wonders if he will, take note of this fact; if the Democrats certify Miller as their candidate in July or August, he'll have to take four months of leave to campaign until November.

He says that will cost him nearly fifty thousand dollars.