A Houston, Texas pastor who engaged in scare tactics to protest the city’s new anti-discrimination law this year had been suspended from his own job with the city after being investigated for sexual harassment, KROI-FM reported.
Kendall Baker was suspended indefinitely from his position at the city’s 311 service following an investigation by the city’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The investigation was prompted by a June 2013 complaint by one of Baker’s employees, who said he “solicited sexual acts, made crude comments about female anatomy, and engaged in inappropriate physical contact by hugging subordinate female employees.”
Investigators said in a September 2013 report that Baker also solicited donations from his subordinates on behalf of his church. Baker denied the allegations and said a “municipal union board member” made them up to put him under scrutiny by the OIG.
“Mr. Baker’s explanations were neither satisfactory nor exculpatory,” the report stated.
The law, known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), was approved by the local city council on May 29. It extends legal protections regarding housing and employment to members of the LGBT community, similar to an ordinance passed in San Antonio last year.
Baker, a member of the local pastors council, was among those opposing the proposal before it passed. KROI reported that he squared off with Mayor Annise Parker on the issue during a May 13 city council meeting.
“I say to you, what if I came into the restroom here while you were sitting on the toilet? How would you feel?” Baker told Parker at the time. “Wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable?”
Baker also criticized the OIG investigation into his conduct during the meeting, saying, “The reason I know the OIG is overwhelmed is because I just ended a 28-year, 11-month career with the city and was wrongfully terminated and the OIG did not handle the case appropriately.”
“You are proof we do a good job in the OIG, sir,” Parker replied.
Baker seized on a common conservative talking point in opposing the initiative, saying it allowed for potential abuse by heterosexual men.
“The imagery that I have in my mind is a grown man going into a restroom with a 6 year old girl standing beside of her using the restroom,” Baker was quoted as saying on April 30.
Watch a report by KHOU-TV containing some of Baker’s remarks against the ordinance, as aired on April 30, below.
The OIG’s findings on Baker’s conduct can be found below.
Internet heaps praise on CNN’s Anderson Cooper for his ‘must watch’ destruction of Rod Blagojevich
CNN's Anderson Cooper received near-universal praise across the board for what one commenter called his "fiery rebuke" of recently paroled former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on Friday night that culminated in the CNN host telling him excuses for why he should not have been in prison were "bullsh*t."
During the highly-contentious interview, Cooper came armed with facts and did not let Blagojevich get away with comparing himself to political prisoner Nelson Madel a which drew a smirk and rebuke from the CNN host.
Many on Twitter were quick to point to the interview as one all cable hosts should look at as a way to stop guests who go on shows to lie with no pushback.
Bill Barr’s relationship with Trump ‘on the rocks’ as unleashed president ‘openly defies him’: ex-prosecutor
In a CNN segment analyzing Donald Trump's insistent comments and tweets about Justice Department business, former federal prosecutor Eli Honig stated that the relationship between the president and Attorney General Bill Barr is now "on the rocks" and does not look promising for the future.
Speaking with "New Day" host Christi Paul, Honig explained that Barr has repeatedly cautioned the president about his comments but that Trump is flat out ignoring the Attorney general -- meaning that their relationship has taken a bad turn.
"It's interesting, Christi, the relationship between Trump and Barr seems to be on the rocks," Honig explained. "We saw Bill Barr step up and show some spine when he said to ABC News, the president is making my job impossible."
Trump is doing Putin’s bidding by ‘spreading misinformation’ about new Russian election meddling report: Ex-NSC official
Appearing on CNN on Saturday morning, former National Security Council official Samantha Vinograd stated that Donald Trump attacks on a new U.S. intelligence report showing ten Russians are already meddling in the 2020 election is exactly what Russian President Vladimir Putin would want him to do.
Speaking with hosts Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul, Vinograd accused Trump of spreading misinformation because it helps his re-election chances.
"The key question, though, is on the misinformation and disinformation front," Vinobrad explained. "Christi, you don't fight a Russian campaign with misinformation about the campaign. President Trump calling it a Democratic hoax is exactly what Putin is hoping for from this president."