in Houston, Texas

Does city controller candidate M.J. Khan live in the city of Houston?

Monday, Oct 12, 2009, 09:47AM CST
By Jennifer Peebles & Steve Miller
mjkhanheadshotCity Councilman M.J. Khan wants to be Houston's next city controller -- but does he actually live in the city of Houston?

The real estate developer and engineer who has represented Council District F for five years has given two different addresses on official documents in the past few years. One is inside District F. But now he's running for citywide office in the Nov. 3 election, and the other home isn't even inside the Houston city limits.

It's in the small city of Piney Point Village in western Harris County.

When Khan filled out his 2009 personal financial statement -- due back in April -- he listed under "address" 6289 Wilcrest Drive, No. 6103 -- that's in Alief, inside both the city limits and Khan's council district. However, Khan did not check the adjoining box that said "check if filer's home address."

The home at 6289 Wilcrest is also the address that Khan had listed on his Harris County voter registration as of Monday. And it's the address that Khan gave to John McCain's presidential campaign when he gave money to the Arizona senator in 2007, and which the McCain camp listed on Federal Election Commission disclosure filings.

But when Khan donated last year to the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat who was the first Muslim elected to Congress, he listed another address -- a 10,000-square-foot home in Piney Point Village listed in county property tax records in his wife's name.

"If he wants to be in politics he ought to at least live in the city," said Terry McConn, who lost a runoff with Khan for the District F council seat in 2003 and who challenged Khan's residency then.

Charles Kuffner, author of the progressive blog Off The Kuff, says he's "not one of those people that gets all that bent out of shape" over such residency issues, as long as a candidate can clearly articulate why they can represent the city or district in question. But he also says it's been an issue hounding Khan for years.

"My understanding is, that's kind of an open secret" that Khan lives in Piney Point, Kuffner said.

And political opponents of Khan's have been saying for years that the address on Wilding Lane -- appraised at $2.7 million -- is Khan's real home.

In fact, the house in Piney Point has been granted a homestead exemption from the Harris County Appraisal District, according to the district's online database. So, apparently, someone lives there. But the box on the Federal Election Commission form for the Ellison donations describes it as "mailing address."

"Wilcrest is his primary residence -- he owns it and lives there," said Andre Castro, Khan's campaign manager. "The other place is his wife's."

Castro noted that the candidate was a robbery victim during the summer outside the Wilcrest address -- robbed of his cell phone and wallet while outside the Wilcrest home, helping a friend fix his car one night, the Chronicle reported at the time. Khan was not injured, but his friend was sprayed in the face with Mace by the robbers. Two men were later charged in the robbery, and a female acquaintance of theirs was charged with driving the getaway car, the Chronicle said.

"At 11 p.m. on a Sunday night, that is where he was," Castro said. "It was unfortunate, but it does show that's where his home is."

When Khan's opponent in a City Council runoff 2003 questioned Khan's residency, he spoke reassuringly to the Chronicle:
He said the Piney Point home is in his wife's name and she will be moving into the district with him at a later date.

"I do live in the district," Khan said. "That's where my legal residence is."

That was six years ago. As of Monday, the address on his wife's voter registration is the Piney Point address -- meaning she can't vote for her own husband.

At the time Khan made that statement in 2003, Wilcrest Drive wasn't in the picture yet -- he was renting a house at 6227 Havendale Drive, also in Alief, and had that address listed on his Harris County voter registration, public records show.

Khan is opposed in the Nov. 3 election by fellow city councilmembers Pam Holm and Ronald Green. The controller post is being vacated by Annise Parker, who cannot seek the job again under city term limits and who is running for mayor.

Texas Watchdog Deputy Editor Lee Ann O'Neal contributed to this report.

Where does M.J. Khan live?

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Comments
tired dog
Monday, 10/12/2009 - 12:26PM

Doesn't an odd feature of TX law accept as a voting address anything a voter wants, accepting the fiction that at some not required to be defined time the voter 'intends' to reside there? So, if Wilcrest is that 'voting' address, it probably qualifies as his residence as well.

We've seen this time and again in local politics. Creative fiction. Unfortunately as EACH CONTROLLER CANDIDATE HAS BEEN COMPLICIT IN BRINGING COH TO THE POINT OF BANKRUPTCY I CANNOT CHOOSE AMONG THEM.

May skip this slot on the ballot and run for office myself in '11...getting damn tired of these pinheads, poltroons and poofdahs who know what's best.

Kaal
Monday, 10/12/2009 - 05:21PM

M J Khan (Masroor Javed Khan) of Pakistani origin has been living in Piney Point house long before he ran for Disrtict \'F\' City Council position.

He rented a house from a friend when he was running for the position for the first time. He has tried to fool the disrtict residents, potraying as if he knows their district needs. For the last six years, there has been no improvements made to the disrtict or its residents.

Such devious behaviour should be challenged.

Now he is running for City of Houston Controller\'s position, and he still does not live in the city. He sould not be allowed to make a mockery of the election requirements.

This shows his honesty, and I don\'t like it at all.

TRUTHMAKER
Tuesday, 10/13/2009 - 12:21AM

Which lie are the voters supposed to believe: LIE #1) He is a happily married man, as he states he is, but lives away from his wife, or LIE 2) He lives in a $98,000 value house in a GHETTO area versus a $2,700,000 value house in one of the most prominent areas in the country.

He is untruthful, which Muslims practice and believe is OK to do to infidels, and people who have worked for him, on his city council payroll, will testify he always had them meet him at his Piney Point house.

How can the citizens of Houston trust a Muslim who is untruthful with a $4,000,000,000.00 budget?

kevin whited
Tuesday, 10/13/2009 - 08:35AM

** Charles Kuffner, author of the progressive blog Off The Kuff, says he’s “not one of those people that gets all that bent out of shape” over such residency issues, **

Chronic copyright abuse seems not to bother him much either, so it's not surprising that other forms of deception don't.

In a weird, cynical way, though, I agree with Kuffner. Political candidates who hope to move up the political food chain via carpetbagging really need to be much smoother in their lies to the public. If we are going to have deceptive pols, we at least deserve deceptive pols who are GOOD at deception! :|

Jennifer Peebles
Tuesday, 10/13/2009 - 10:28AM

Hi, everyone. Texas Watchdog is glad to provide a forum for discussion on political candidates and their residency issues, but saying you can't trust a politician because of they adhere to a certain religion is wrong and offensive. Don't do it in our forums. Thanks.

-- Jennifer P.

robert kane
Thursday, 10/15/2009 - 02:26PM

I have asked Texas Watchdog to question current candidate residency, but they declined. It seems only the big races matter in Houston.... here is what someone emailed me regarding this and his opinion why:

I don't see this race on the front page of the Chronicle. The Houston press system thinks the curvature of the Earth ends at Chimney Rock.

The Chronicle staff doesn't want to drive outside of the inner loop - you have to see it from the eyes of the local media: outside the loop, the night clubs aren't as fun. The restaurants don't require reservations. The martinis aren't as tasty. There are lots of icky black and brown people. We don't want to go THERE

robert kane
Thursday, 10/15/2009 - 02:28PM

I should've noted, the email I spoke of doesn't come from Texas Watchdog or any media, just someone that voiced their opinion why city council doesn't get the media coverage/attention.

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