Just days before a pivotal court date, proponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance are set to lose one of the persons most knowledgeable about the law. Here’s more from the Houston Chronicle…
City Attorney David Feldman on Friday announced that he plans to resign next month, citing, among other reasons, that he could better defend the city’s embattled equal rights ordinance as a key witness than as a lawyer in the upcoming case.
Feldman has played a crucial and at times controversial role in Mayor Annise Parker‘s administration, alternately acting as chief negotiator, attack dog, policy wonk and spokesman.
Feldman said Friday that the main reason for his departure was his desire to work at a law firm with his son.
“The primary driving force is the desire to go back into private practice and frankly to go back into private practice at a time when I think there are people out there who I used to represent who still remember me,” Feldman said. “And my son has been after me continuously. There’s a draw there, there’s an allure, ‘Feldman and Feldman.’ I wanted to start 2015 in a new gig.”
But he acknowledged that the timing of his resignation was driven by the court date for Parker’s signature equal rights ordinance, which is set to take center stage Jan 19. Conservative critics sued the city this summer after Feldman and Parker announced that the group’s petition to send the ordinance to the ballot did not contain enough valid signatures. Opponents seeking to force the referendum largely take issue with the rights extended to gay and transgender residents under the ordinance City Council passed last May.
Despite Feldman’s statement saying that he will be a greater asset to the City from the witness chair than the Attorney’s desk, it’ very hard to see any logic in his decision to step out just as the HERO case is heating up. Unless of course he sees what myself and other have… The fight that lies ahead to protect HERO is potentially much more difficult than the fight to get the law passed.
This leaves city in a scramble not only find top notch legal representation, but also to get those persons up to speed in a precious few weeks. We’ll see what Mayor Parker and her team can come up with.
No matter the amount of animus thrown at HERO, it’s really important to remember one last point… the anti equality side’s arguments are built on lies. They may be growing rapidly in money and power, but that doesn’t make anything that they say actually TRUE. This ordinance is common-sense legislation that is already in place across the country. The facts are are squarely on the side of equal protection for all.