Michael Salman, in Fight With Phoenix Over Backyard Church Services, Running for City Council
Michael Salman can't seem to beat City Hall, and now hopes to be elected to it.
The Phoenix pastor has been fighting the city of Phoenix for three years over the right to hold worship services under a backyard structure he and his parishioners built. His home has been raided twice by authorities, including once this past March, and he faces 60 days in the klink for violating city codes relating to the structure.
Last month, he filed a federal complaint against the city.
The plucky pastor and ex-gangbanger (he once served time for a drive-by shooting) isn't content just to play defense. As we reported last month, he filed a federal complaint and requested a temporary restraining order against the city. A judge shot down the idea of a restraining order, but he's moving ahead with the lawsuit.
Meantime, he's running for the city's District 5 council seat.
Salman filed paperwork for his candidacy on March 30, about a week after the latest raid on his home by code-compliance officers and fire inspectors. He was slapped with seven additional violations during the raid; the jail sentence for his previous violations is on appeal.
It's difficult to tell whether the pastor is serious about his candidacy. His candidate blog, in which he's pictured in a white, Hanes-like T-shirt and needing a shave, hasn't been updated since April 2. His motto is a bit weird: "I put my money where your mouth is!"
We're also wondering why he spelled his name incorrectly on the filing paperwork: He called himself "Micheal Salman," though in other writings (like his court complaint) he spells his first name with the more traditional, "Michael."
Salman confirmed in an e-mail that he's really running.
"I'm going to expose the rats that are spending our money," he says.
Nothing fires up a candidate like a looming jail sentence.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.
- McCain Thrilled About Clean Water Act Injunction, but Critics Say He’s Just Playing...
Fri., Sep. 11, 7:00pm
Fri., Sep. 11, 7:00pm
Sat., Sep. 12, 6:00pm
Sat., Sep. 12, 8:00pm
- Transgender Woman Barred From Tempe Mosque Unless She Dresses as a Man or Can "Prove"...
- Domestic Violence Victim Threatened with Eviction for Calling 911 Sues City