The mayor of a West Texas community abruptly resigned after being forced to pick between his love and his love of the law.

J.W. Lown told the San Angelo Standard-Times in a telephone interview Wednesday from Mexico that he was involved in a relationship with a man who does not have legal status in the United States.

Lown said he didn't want to take the oath of office knowing he was "aiding and assisting" someone who is not a U.S. citizen.

Lown on May 9 overwhelmingly won re-election to a fourth term with about 89 percent of the votes.

He was to be sworn in Tuesday but didn't show up for the ceremony.

The job of San Angelo mayor pays $600 annually.