Rob Todd

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Rob Todd
Member of the Houston City Council from the E District
In office
January 2, 1996 – January 2, 2002
Preceded by Joe Roach
Succeeded by Addie Wiseman
Personal details
Born Robert Todd
(1963-10-23) October 23, 1963 (age 50)
Kirksville, Missouri
Political party Republican
Children 4
Residence Houston, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
South Texas College of Law
Occupation Lawyer
Profession Real estate development
Telecommunications
Committees Aviation
Ethics
Finance
Faculty South Texas College of Law
  Adjunct professor of law

Rob Todd (born October 23, 1963) is an American lawyer and former member of the Houston City Council[1] from 1996 to 2002. Todd, a Republican, was a member of the Houston City Council from 1996 to 2002,[1] representing the eastern edge of Houston including the Johnson Space Center, William P. Hobby Airport, the Houston Ship Channel, and Lake Houston. He chaired the Regulatory Affairs Committee, the Charter Committee, and the Rail Committee. He was also a member of the Aviation, Ethics, and Finance Committees. At the time of his initial election, Todd was the youngest person ever elected to Houston City Council at the age of 31.[2]

Todd is currently Chairman of the Tower Permit Commission for southeast Texas.

Personal life[edit]

Todd was born in Kirksville, Missouri, and attended the University of Texas at Austin and the South Texas College of Law.[3]

Political career[edit]

As a member of the Houston council Todd opposed the expenditure of public funds on the installation of light rail without a public vote being held, and in 2001 filed suit against the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, to block the project and force a referendum.[4] He argued that a referendum should be held to allow taxpayers to consider the merits of light rail.[5] He succeeded in obtaining a temporary injunction against the project; as a result, METRORail was put to a public vote.[4][6] Ultimately Metro enacted a public policy position that it should not initiate major light rail projects in the greater Houston area unless there was strong evidence that they would reduce air pollution or result in a major reduction in traffic congestion.[7][not in citation given][8] This position was also supported by United States Congressman Tom DeLay.[7]

In 2000, while separated from his wife Penny, Todd admitted to a relationship with the estranged wife of his fellow councilman Bert Keller.[9][10][not in citation given] Todd had earlier strongly promoted "family values", strongly criticizing President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, and taking extreme measures to shut down the store "Condoms Galore": When a vice-squad raid he requested failed to find any illegal activities at the store, Todd sent in city health inspectors, hoping to find the store selling edible panties without a food license.[11][12][9]

In his capacity as chairman of the Regulatory Affairs Committee, Todd supported the passage of controversial "civility ordinances" that restrict behavior such as loitering, begging, and burrowing through trash, aimed at combating vagrancy.[13]

Todd's electronic access card to City Hall was revoked in 1997 when he snuck into the Council chamber and wrapped the Mayor's chair with leftover "Free Kingwood" banners from an anti-annexation rally for that locality.[14]

Career after politics[edit]

As of December 2009, was an attorney in private practice in Houston. He represented 27-year-old Ariana Venegas in a high-profile sexual harassment lawsuit against Harris County District Court judge Donald Jackson, in which Jackson was convicted of offering to dismiss Venegas's case in exchange for sex.[15][16]

He is the founder of the Molitoris Group, a real-estate development firm that finances and manages advanced telecommunication systems such as distributed antenna systems.[17]

Todd is an adjunct professor of law at the South Texas College of Law,[18] where he teaches a class on the legislative process.[19]

Todd's son Robert lost his hearing as an infant due to meningitis. Todd brought a lawsuit against several movie distributors and producers under the Americans With Disabilities Act, with Robert—then in the ninth grade—as the primary plaintiff. The suit sought to force the companies to provide more films with captioning for the hearing-impaired.[20] Todd succeeded in efforts to provide closed captioning on Houston's government-information Government-access television (GATV) channel so that weekly televised city council meetings would be accessible to the hearing-impaired.[21] He also succeeded in persuading the Hobby Center and the Houston Rodeo to add closed captioning to their performances.[20]

As of 2010, Todd serves as the Chairman of the Tower Permit Commission, which has jurisdiction over towers within a 572-square-mile (1,480 km2) area of southeast Texas.[22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b (PDF) List of Mayors, Council Members and City Controllers from 1958 to 2009 (Report). Houston, TX: City of Houston. http://www.houstontx.gov/citysec/mayors.pdf. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  2. ^ Knight, Paul (2010-05-26). "Train Wreck". Houston Press (Houston, TX: Houston Press). Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  3. ^ "Houston City Council Voter's Guide". Houston Chronicle. December 3, 1995. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Sallee, Rad (2001-11-08). "Rail foes halted in their tracks?". Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX: Houston Chronicle Publishing). p. 1. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  5. ^ Yardley, Jim (2001-02-13). "Houston Journal; Legal Fight Stalls a City's Plan for Light-Rail Relief". The New York Times (New York: The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  6. ^ Sallee, Rad (2001-03-09). "Court gives green light to light rail". Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX: Hearst Newspapers). p. 1. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  7. ^ a b Mathis, Nancy; Pope, Tara Parker (1991-09-13). "Senate panel gives monorail plan new life". Houston Chronicle (Hearst Newspapers). p. A9. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  8. ^ Knight, Paul (2010-05-26). "Train Wreck". Houston Press (Houston, TX: Houston Press). Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  9. ^ a b Fleck, Tim (2000-09-28). "The Ballad of Bert and Rob and Susan". Houston Press (Houston, TX: Houston Press). Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  10. ^ Fleck, Tim (2000-12-07). "Rob Todd Unredacted". Houston Press (Houston, TX: Houston Press). Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  11. ^ Casey, Rick (2008-03-26). "Our inferior sex scandals". Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX: Hearst Newspapers). Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  12. ^ "Food Law Applied To Sex Shop Products". Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX). 1998-02-28. 
  13. ^ Liskow, Samantha (1999-07-22). "Civil(ity) War". Houston Press (Houston, TX: Houston Press). Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  14. ^ Cook, Alison (1998-01-01). "Alison Cook Looks Back At 1997: The year that bit". Houston Press (Houston, TX: Houston Press). p. 3. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  15. ^ Stipes, Chris (2009-12-15). "Alleged Victim Testifies Against Judge". My Fox Houston (Houston, TX). Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  16. ^ "Judge guilty in official oppression case". KTRK-TV (Houston, TX: ABC). 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  17. ^ "Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Receives Cell Coverage Boost from Verizon Wireless" (Press release). Memorial Hermann. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  18. ^ "Adjunct Faculty of South Texas College of Law". Stcl.edu. Retrieved 2010-05-12. [dead link]
  19. ^ Fiebel, Carolyn (2009-01-14). "City Council weighs plan to keep cars off lawns". Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX: Hearst Newspapers). Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  20. ^ a b Gullett, Beth (2003-01-30). "Sounds of Silence". Houston Press (Houston, TX: Houston Press). Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  21. ^ Binette, Chad (1996-09-23). "Closed captioning gets high sign for the deaf". Houston Chronicle (Hearst Newspapers). p. A13. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  22. ^ Gafrick, Marlene (2010-12-28). Tower Permit Commission (Report). Houston, TX: City of Houston. http://cbtcws.cityofhouston.gov/BoardsCommApplicationForm/BoardDesc.aspx?boardid=84. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
  23. ^ "Tower Commission". Planning and Development. Houston, TX: City of Houston. 2011.