Houston mayor and prominent pastor accuse each other of lying

This week Reverend D.Z. Cofield walked into City Hall for a verbal reckoning with Mayor Sylvester Turner, a battle that unfolded before City Council for all to see.

"God woke me up early in the morning and said it's time to confront him. It's time to confront him. He has no intention of doing the right thing, it's time to confront him," said Cofield.

During public session, Cofield accused Turner of failing to fulfill an agreement.

"You said, 'Reverend we will work it out, don't worry.' You gave me your word. You shook my hand. And a man's word in my book is his bond," said Cofield.

"If the city is not obligated to give you something, I am not going to give it to you, because you come up here asking for it. Not going to give it to you or anyone else," responded Turner, clearly angered by the accusation.

Cofield, the well-known pastor of historic Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church, says over the past decade three different administrations have first committed and then reneged on partnerships with his congregation to build elderly housing and a battered women's shelter - limbo which has placed Good Hope in financial peril to the tune of $1.7 million.

Mayor Turner fired back, citing a current lawsuit against the City by Cofield and claiming the Reverend was mistaken about his commitment.

"I did not give you my word, Pastor Cofield," said Turner.

Cofield discussed the confrontation in an interview with FOX 26.

"I stood there and said, did he just call me a liar? Did he just say what I said wasn't true," said Cofield.

In defense of his integrity, Cofield offered FOX 26 a recording of a meeting with Turner back in June of 2016.

FOX 26 has confirmed its authenticity through others present at the meeting.

"Let me let me take what you have given to me, okay, let me sit down and put together something and get with you, offer it and move on it, okay?" said Turner in the 28-minute recording.

While the Mayor does not use the term "promise", he clearly offers assurances.

"Once we come up with something that works, let's sit down again, decide upon it and put the wheels in motion to get it done," said Turner.

At the meeting's conclusion, Turner can be heard saying, "We'll get it done. Don't worry. We'll get it done."

A spokesperson for the Mayor responded to FOX 26's reporting on the secret recording and the dueling allegations of mistruth.

"Nothing in D.Z. Cofield’s secret recording contradicts what Mayor Turner said during the city council public session on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. The Mayor agreed to look into this matter to see if the long-standing issues could be resolved.  Following a review by the City of Houston Legal Department, it was determined that the claim was without merit and that the only course was to seek resolution in a court of law," said Mary Benton, Press Secretary for Mayor Turner.