They mayor's office says they were about to lose the city attorney to a private firm, but they made him an offer no city employee around the country would refuse.
Mayor Annise Parker approved a 43.33 percent raise for city attorney David Feldman.
"The city attorney, I mean that's crazy," Houstonian Susan Barnes said.
"I think it's quite an outrageous amount," another Houstonian said.
His take-home salary now $350,000, making him the highest paid city of Houston employee.
"I think some people ought to be questioned about it," Barnes said.
Feldman now makes $50,000 less than President Barrack Obama and six times more than a Houston council member. And he's making 50 percent more than Mayor Parker.
"The increase is something that we've not seen around here," Houston City Comptroller Ronald C. Green said.
The raise didn't even take a vote. Mayor Parker simply sent this simple a two-sentence email to the city comptroller stating Feldman's $350,000 salary would be effective January 4, even though it was above the pay grade maximum.
"It did cause us to wonder what salary survey was done," Green said.
In a statement to Eyewitness News, Mayor Parker said:
"We are at a critical juncture for several pending legal issues, and it's important that I be able to retain the services of a city attorney I trust."
That trust is worth $350,000 of your tax dollars.
Mayor Parker is referring to the same-sex benefits lawsuit the city of Houston faces right now.
By the way, the city comptroller says Feldman got a 40-percent raise last year.
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