Texas judge removed over citizenship becomes U.S. citizen

Young Min Burkett

Matt Sayles/AP

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- A Texas judge who was placed on unpaid leave after officials discovered she was not a U.S. citizen has obtained her citizenship.

Corpus Christi Municipal Court Judge Young Min Burkett was sworn in as a citizen on Friday. That makes her eligible to vote and serve as a judge. The oath was administered by a federal judge.

Burkett is from South Korea and had been a permanent legal resident. She applied for expedited review of her U.S. citizenship request after being removed from the bench. Burkett says she never tried to deceive or misrepresent her background.

She gave up her South Korean citizenship. The two countries do not allow dual citizenship.

Burkett had 90 days to obtain citizenship and managed to do it in 51, The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports.

"I submitted a request to expedite and it was granted," Burkett told reporters Friday, according to the newspaper. "I'm very grateful it was processed in a short period of time, and I'm ready to get back to work."

The Corpus Christi City Council will decide whether Burkett should be reinstated as a judge.