Councilman plans to file federal complaint against Christian group

Councilman plans to file federal complaint against Christian group

(WMC-TV) - A robo call controversy is brewing in the wake of the heated vote to implement sexual orientation protections for City of Memphis employees.

Now, a councilman is filing a federal complaint against a Christian group.

Councilman Reid Hedgepeth claims the Family Action Council of Tennessee immobilized his cell phone with repeated robo calls to block the ordinance.

"I'm supposed to be on the National Do Not Call List," said Terri Weaver, who got a robo call targeting Memphis Councilman Red Hedgepeth. "I hear a message that says, 'This is the Family Action Council of Tennessee.'"

Weaver said a recording told her to press '1' to connect to Hedgepeth's office.

City hall is a public number, but Hedgepeth said at Tuesday's council meeting that protestors locked up his personal phones, hours at a time for one week.

"This small group has also set up robo calls targeting my personal cell phone ,as well as my business phone, which is completely against the law," said Councilman Hedgepeth.

The Federal Communications Commission says all autodialed or prerecorded calls to wireless numbers are prohibited, warranting a $16,000 fine per phone call.

Paul Houghland of the Family Action Council said the calls were not recordings.

"We called constituents in Hedgepeth's district. We made live calls to them. None after 5 o'clock and if they wanted to contact the Councilman, that was their option," said Paul Houghland, Family Action Council of Tennessee.

Weaver is not convinced.

"As a Christian and a citizen, I have a real issue about unethical actions. Especially by Christian organizations," said Weaver.

Weaver said she will testify when Hedgepeth files his FCC complaint.

Houghland says the real issue is being disregarded: The threat to traditional families.

Hedgepeth said workplace equal protections are a no brainer.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.