Attorney at Law
2620 Fountainview, Suite 106
Houston, Texas 77057
Tel. 713-784-7618 Fax. 713-784-9063
December 8, 2002
SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE EVIDENCE THAT IS GOING TO BE SENT TO PRESBYTERY REGARDING THE INDEPENDENCE HEIGHTS PROJECT
1) On May 25, 2001, Charlie Windham, signed a HUD commitment to the Independence Heights Project, as trustee for Heights Presbyterian Church. (Ex “A”)
The Project had not been approved by Presbytery, nor the session nor the congregation.
2) In February 2002, this project came to the attention of the session for the first time. Joyce Wolter hired her son John WorldPeace, attorney, to look into the project.
In March, Tom Lord, the project promoter, spoke to the session.
On Monday, April 15, 2002, an employee of HUD came to the church and discussed the project but refused to elaborate on the financial obligations that the church would incur.
On April 19, 2002, WorldPeace had a meeting with Joe Delgatto, Charlie Windham, Tom Lord, Linda Holder, Lord’s employee, and Bob Casey, Jr., Lord’s attorney who works at Bracewell Patterson. The meeting was held at the church.
At that meeting, it was admitted that contrary to what Delgatto and Windham had been telling the congregation, there were not four sponsors of the project but only Heights Presbyterian Church. Two of the other churches had refused to participate and the other had not obtained approval. Further, it was admitted by Tom Lord that the financial commitment by Heights Presbyterian Church was unlimited with regards to the building of the project and the monthly operating shortfall if any. But Lord insisted that this never happens. Of course Lord was not prepared to sign a commitment to reimburse Heights Church if he was wrong.
On April 21, 2002, after worship service, there was an illegal special executive session meeting (because the reason for the session meeting had not been stated the prior Sunday and because the meeting was not a single purpose meeting). At this meeting there was a vote to continue sponsorship of the Independence Heights Project.
3) On April 22, 2002, WorldPeace filed a lawsuit against Joe Delgatto by Joyce Wolter. Wolter filed suit on behalf of the congregation but in her own name. Wolter believed that this was her mandate as a member of the session and as a trustee of the church.
On April 24, 2002, Delgatto wrote a letter to the congregation stating that: “The scriptures tell us that Satan is the ’father of lies and the author of deception.’ This lawsuit, therefore, comes from the mouth of Hell itself.”
4) On October 8, 2002, Diane Springer, wrote a personal check to the Independence Heights, Inc. project for $5,000. This check was deposited into the Independence Heights, Inc account at Sterling Bank. (Ex “B”).
On October 9, 2002, Dr. Hamon, President of Independence Heights, Inc. wrote a letter thanking Diane Springer for paying Heights Presbyterian Church’s obligation to the Project. (Ex “C”).
The problem here is that Joe and the rest of the conspirators in this matter continue to say that Heights Presbyterian Church has not paid any money toward the project. This is a lie in the sense that they got Diane Springer to pay the money directly to the project on behalf of the church so they would not have to deal with the money coming into the church and then getting approval of the session to pay the money into the project.
The main problem is that the payment of the money obligated the church to the project when the church prior to the payment was not obligated to the project. In the law, there can be no contract until there is consideration (money paid).
So while this matter was being sorted out via the lawsuit and via discussions in the church, Diane Springer illegally obligated the church to the project. The acts of Charlie Windham with the signing of the original HUD document was deceitful but it was not until Diane Springer paid the money that the church was actually obligated. The question is who convinced Diane to obligate the church? Surely she did not do this own her own without someone pushing her.
And as you all know, Diane and her husband left for Africa on December 8, 2002. Isn’t it interesting that someone may have manipulated Diane into committing the church to the project thinking that she would be unreachable in Africa. Big mistake, Diane is going to be added to the lawsuit because whatever monies that Heights Presbyterian Church has to pay to get out of this project will be due because of the money that Diane paid into the project for the benefit of Heights Church.
By the way, Diane Springer was the clerk of the session and knew there was problems with this project. She cannot claim she did not know that there was a problem.
And further, the fact that Diane paid these monies was not known until Ms. Feiler, the newly hired attorney for the church, filed some pleadings on December 2, 2002, in the lawsuit to stop WorldPeace from attending the congregational meeting on December 8, 2002.
5) On November 11, 2002, WorldPeace attended the monthly session meeting at the church. Rev. Belinda Windam (no kin to Charlie Windham I am told) from the Presbytery (and who had been asked to leave the ministry of St. Giles Presbyterian Church) was in attendance and demanded that WorldPeace leave. WorldPeace refused and Rev. Windham called the police who told Windham that the police do not enforce house rules.
Joe Delgatto terminated the session meeting when he found that he could not remove WorldPeace.
6) On November 18, 2002, in order to prevent WorldPeace from attending the session meeting, it was held at Barbara Puckett’s home.
At that meeting, the session approved the hiring of Diane Feiler McGehee, to represent the church at $200 per hour. At the present time, I do not have a copy of the retainer contract and do not know therefore what it says, when it was signed or who signed it for the church.
Further, Diane Feiler McGehee, was the wife of the minister of St Phillip Presbyterian Church. In 1997, Dr. Paul Feiler and Diane Feiler divorced. It has been said that Dr. Feiler had a relationship with one of the members of the congregation but I have not verified this yet. Dr. Feiler from what I can tell is no longer a Presbyterian minister.
The important thing to know here is that before coming to Heights Presbyterian Church, Patty Ellis was a member of St Phillip Presbyterian Church. So Delgatto presented Diane Feiler to the session because Patty told him to.
NOTE: In addition to representing Heights Church (which has not been sued), Ms. Feiler is representing Patty Ellis who has been sued by Joyce Wolter. In addition, Ms. Feiler has filed suit on behalf of Patty Ellis against WorldPeace and Joyce Wolter for defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Ms. Feiler says there is no conflict between representing the church and Patty Ellis who Joyce Wolter alleges has acted against the church’s interests. Further, Ms. Feiler has been noticed that she will be called as a witness to testify as to the mischief that Patty Ellis created at St. Phillip. Therefore, Ms. Feiler has a conflict of interest in representing both Patty Ellis and Heights Church. WorldPeace’s motion to disqualify Feiler was denied by the court but it will be resubmitted. Ms. Feiler is on notice that she has a problem and that was what WorldPeace was trying to accomplish with his Motion to Disqualify Ms. Feiler.
7) On November 26, 2002, Joe Delgatto wrote the Presbytery and requested that the Presbytery form a committee to approve the project. This is 18 months after Charlie Windham committed the church to the project.
Per Rule G-8.0500 of the Book of Order it states that : “A particular church shall not sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber any of its real property and it shall not acquire real property subject to an encumbrance or condition without the written permission of the presbytery transmitted through the session of the particular church.”
Per Rule G-7.0402 of the Book of Order it states that: “in buying, selling, and mortgaging real property, the trustee shall act only after the approval of the congregation granted in a duly constituted meeting. (G-8.0500)”
So what should have happened before Windham obligated the church to the Independence Heights project was that the session should have requested the Presbytery to approve the project, the Presbytery should have approved the project and informed the session, and the session should have called a congregational meeting, the congregation should have approved the project and then the trustee should have signed the documents committing the church to the project. Of course none of this happened.
8) On December 1, 2002, Delgatto announced a congregational meeting for December 8, 2002, for the purposes of allowing Diane Feiler to discuss the Independence Heights project.
In order to keep WorldPeace out of the meeting, Diane Feiler filed a motion with the court to prevent WorldPeace from attending the December 8, 2002, meeting.
The court instead signed an ORDER stopping the December 8, 2002, congregational meeting on the Independence Heights project until 48 hours after Delgatto gives his deposition to WorldPeace. (Ex “D”)
In addition, the court stopped Diane Feiler and Max Tribble, who represents Delgatto and Windham in the lawsuit, from attending anything at Heights Church and specifically any meetings of the session or the congregation until Delgatto gives his deposition.
Something is very rotten with the Independence Heights Project because:
1) Windham illegally committed the church to the project nine months before anyone knew about the project.
2) Diane Springer paid money to commit the church to the project while the matter was being discussed in the session and among the congregation and while the lawsuit was pending.
3) Session meetings are being held away from the church premises.
4) Rev. Belinda Windham has been present at all the relevant meetings regarding this project but has not informed the session that approval was needed from Presbytery.
5) Diane Feiler, has tried everything she could to keep WorldPeace out of an open discussion of the project. Is this what she was hired to do? Limit the discussion of the project that could bankrupt the church?
Why is this project being pushed so hard and why has there been all this secrecy and behind the scenes dealings if the project is legitimate.
Why is Joyce Wolter being attacked for filing a suit to stop this illegal process when that is her mandate as trustee of the church?
It is my belief that the congregational meeting that was set for December 8, 2002, and which was going to be moderated by Presbytery, was going to be an attempt to get a congregational vote on the project. I think that Presbytery was going to come to the meeting with a retroactive approval of the project, and after a discussion was held without its main opponent present, WorldPeace, a vote was going to be taken. The net effect would have been to approve the project retroactively and attempt to render the lawsuit moot.
Fortunately, the judge saw through all this and stopped the entire process until Delgatto testifies under oath.
To date Delgatto, Windham, Ellis, Tom Lord and Madeline Delgatto have been sued. After the developments last week, Barbara Puckett will be added (I postponed adding her right after the illegal off premises session meeting which she hosted) along with Rev. Belinda Windham, Diane Springer and possibly Diane Feiler, the church attorney.
REGARDING DISTRIBUTION OF THIS SUMMARY
The judge asked me, did not order me, not to write anymore inflammatory letters for the time being. The judge has prohibited either Mr. Tribble or Ms. Feiler from attending any events at Heights Church and any meetings of the session or the congregation until Delgatto gives his deposition.
However, the court did not stop the attorneys from speaking to members of the congregation on an individual basis; those who asked them about the lawsuit. Therefore, I am giving this information to those of you who have shown an interest in getting to the bottom of this mess as opposed to sending it to those members who I know are aligned against my mother. Ms. Feiler is allowed to do the same. She just can’t attend any church meetings until Joe gives his deposition.
If you have any questions feel free to call me. If you want to contacted by email or fax, please forward those to me.
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