HOUSTON – The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association has selected a Houston lawyer as its nominee to act as the court-ordered mediator in the Prop B dispute.
David G. Matthiesen appears to be a seasoned meditator. He is a Houstonian, and will presumably have some knowledge about the issue.
Channel 2 Investigates learned the city's legal team has already told the union it would be willing to accept any qualified mediator as long as the HPFFA was ready to begin mediation on Monday.
The judge did not order the two sides to begin mediation Monday, but only to submit an agreed-upon the mediator to the court.
"I'm not an attorney, nor am I someone who can exactly make sense of what that means," Marty Lancton, president of the HPFFA, said.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declined an interview request on Friday, but his team clarified the stipulation.
Mary Benton, Turner's press secretary, sent the following reply via email:
"This is a non-binding court-ordered mediation among police, fire and the city. Though it is non-binding, the city will comply. What is important is that the mediation occurs as soon as possible, preferably Monday or Tuesday (April 22-23). By law, the City budget must balance by the end of June, and where a reduction in personnel is necessary to balance the budget, employees must be given a 60-day notice prior to July 1."