HOUSTON -- Houston Mayor Annise Parker is weighing in on allegations of forgery by a Houston City Council member.
It all centers on a push to change the name of a southwest Houston street in a neighborhood which Council Member Al Hoang lives.
"This is obviously going to take some extra review," said Mayor Parker after Wednesday’s regularly scheduled city council meeting.
Parker indicated she would temporarily put the brakes on a proposal to change Turtlewood Drive, in the heart of Asia town, into Little Saigon Drive.
"Nothing is going to move until we can be assured that the community wishes have been fairly represented," Parker said.
The I-Team first reported on Tuesday how a group of homeowners in the Turtlewood Square community is suing some neighbors, including Hoang, for allegedly forging their signatures on an official petition to change the street name.
"This is really underhanded," said homeowner Sue Tsai.
"It kind of looks like my name, but it's not, and I was very angered," added Jenny Lu.
Council Member Hoang was allegedly the last person to handle the petition before it was sent to the city with the forged names. But Tuesday he told the I-Team he didn’t do it.
Hoang: "They (inaudible) to my nanny.”
I-Team: “Your nanny?”
Hoang: “My nanny.”
I-Team: “Your nanny did it?”
Hoang: “I don't know for sure.”
I-Team: “Who's your nanny?”
Hoang: “At this point, she doesn't work for me anymore."
After the forgery allegations surfaced, Hoang took another route to push the street name change through--submitting a direct request without neighbor signatures--which he is allowed to do as a city council member.
Mayor Parker pledged a thorough review of all petitions before any vote is taken to change Turtlewood to Little Saigon Drive.
"If there are any irregularities during that, we'll investigate those, but we'll have to get this sorted out," Parker said.
The mayor also said, if she gets a formal complaint or formal request for investigation, she'll have the City's Office of Inspector General do just that.
The chair of the City Council’s Ethics and Council Governance Committee, Mike Sullivan, said he will not be launching an investigation at this point, and instead will take a wait-and-see approach.