Houston's 'never' pastor sees 'cover up' in city attorney's resignation

by Joni B. Hannigan, Editorial Staff |
Houston City Attorney David Feldman with Mayor Annise Parker, announcing revisions to the subpoenas in the lawsuit over the equal rights ordinance. | Houston Public Media

HOUSTON (Christian Examiner) – The pastor who vowed he would "never" surrender sermons to Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker and city attorneys, not even a "jot or a tittle," said he believes a "cover-up" is afoot with the holiday resignation of Houston City Attorney David Feldman.

Feldman announced Dec. 19 he would resign next month before the court case convenes involving five pastors who were issued subpoenas by the City of Houston.

Randy White, pastor of First Baptist Church in Katy, said while he is not an attorney nor a political expert, it is clear to him that Feldman has been a "legal hair splitter" for what he called "Parker's agenda."

Parker, the city's first openly lesbian chief executive, appointed Parker to the city's top legal position more than four years ago.

"Feldman has been the architect for the political vendettas of Mayor Parker on several fronts, including the bullying maneuver against local pastors and the effort to reduce pensions of the local fire department after the firefighter's association did not support her mayoral campaign," White told Christian Examiner.

"Whether Parker is concerned that Feldman's role in invalidating signatures in the HERO recall effort will be damaging to her administration and future political hopes, or Feldman truly believes that his role as witness rather than city attorney in the ongoing lawsuit is yet to be seen," he continued.

In his official statement, Feldman said he looked forward to practicing law with his son. His resignation is effective Jan. 16. He said he will step down in time to be able to testify at the Jan. 19 court date so as not to put the city's legal department in a position of not being able to serve as counsel.

White said he is cautious about the timing of Feldman's resignation.

"Anyone who knows politics knows that when a major change is announced on a Friday before a holiday, a cover-up is in the works," he said.

A key issue in the case is whether the required number of ballots collected to put the matter to voters is valid.

White concluded: "Feldman is formidable in legalese, but a pastor's role in organizing lawful petition for redress of grievances is so constitutionally protected that even an armchair critic can see that Parker and company have an uphill battle to defend their October actions."