A group of lawmakers are calling for Texas House parliamentarian Hugh Brady to be suspended, following what they have referred to as an “appearance of impropriety” surrounding his association with a law firm hired to help kill conservative priorities.
In a letter sent to House Speaker Dade Phelan and the House General Investigating Committee, State Reps. Steve Toth (R–The Woodlands), Brian Harrison (R–Midlothian), and Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) points towards Brady’s partnership with the law firm Brady & Peavey PC. The firm was hired by Harris County for “matters pending before the 88th Session of the Texas Legislature.”
“In other words, to dig up parliamentary errors to kill conservative legislation,” the letter reads.
Additionally, they note, the firm was also hired by the City of Austin and Ross Peavey, his partner, is a registered lobbyist.
“Since Mr. Brady’s role is similar to that of an umpire on the House Floor, his firm’s financial incentive appears to create a conflict of interest,” the lawmakers argue.
To that end, they ask Phelan the following questions:
- Is Mr. Brady currently benefiting from the firm Brady & Peavey?
- Why is a private law firm using Mr. Brady’s name, giving the appearance of an inside connection to attract business?
- Can Mr. Brady expect future benefits from revenue his firm earned this year?
“Even if none of the above were to exist, the optics alone of having a named partner of a law firm that has been commissioned to draft points of order be the adjudicator of those points of order creates at bare minimum a grotesque appearance of a conflict of interest that is of such magnitude its existence materially diminishes the integrity of the Texas House of Representatives, and this is sufficient reason alone to remove Mr. Brady from his responsibilities, especially since we have never seen you diverge from any opinion prepared for you by Mr. Brady,” they conclude.
Brady was appointed as parliamentarian by former Speaker Dennis Bonnen in 2019. His association with Democrats raised questions even then.
A consistent Democrat voter according to election records, Brady served as general counsel for the White House Office of Administration under President Barack Obama from 2014-2017 as well as Parliamentarian for the Travis County Democrat Party.
When Phelan became Speaker in 2021, he retained Brady in his parliamentarian position.
As of publishing, Phelan’s office did not respond to a request for comment.