City Desk

Kathy Patterson Fact-Checks Peter Nickles on Pershing Park

Today, former Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson submitted a letter [PDF] to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan regarding the troubled Pershing Park Case.

Patterson, who headed up the council judiciary committee at the time of the mass arrests and spearheaded an exhaustive investigation into the incident, may be the best authority on the subject (not including plaintiffs' attorneys).  It appears she wrote the letter to refute several assertions made by Attorney General Peter Nickles in his sworn statement turned into Sullivan on August 12.

In particular, Patterson takes issue with Nickles' assertion that the Metropolitan Police Department's general counsel never received the running resume. In fact, Patterson points out that she received a November 21, 2003, letter from General Counsel Terrance Ryan in which he promises the running resume. She quotes Ryan's letter in which he states:

The department has substituted the SOCC/JOCC running resumes for the Commander's Mass Demonstration Event Logs. The running resumes for the above listed events are being produced today.

Patterson goes on to state that Nickles erred when he stated in his sworn testimony that the D.C. Council's investigative report on Pershing Park was written by "now-Councilmember Mary Cheh." Patterson says that was not the case—she wrote the report. Nickles needs a fact-checker!

There's more. In his statement, Nickles claimed that the OAG had been denied access to the police department's after-action reports, running resume, and event logs—materials used in her investigation. Patterson says the OAG had access to such materials. She writes:

By the conclusion of the Committee's investigation—and the publication of the Committee report on March 24, 2004—the thousands of pages of documents gathered by the investigation were made public, with the exception of depositions taken from two undercover officers, and a portion of the deposition taken from Assistant Chief Peter Newsham.

Patterson continues:

On December 4, 2003, the Judiciary Committee voted to release from executive session the bulk of the documents received under subpoena from the Metropolitan Police Department. We made the documents public at that time because we planned to make use of the information during two days of public hearings held two weeks later....To the best of my knowledge, all of the Committee's investigation files remain available today for public review through the Office of the Secretary of the Council.

Patterson goes further:

Mr. Nickles makes reference to a subpoena seeking documents provided to the Committee, but the Committee on the Judiciary was never the subject of an OAG subpoena–that would have been unnecessary, since, as indicated, the documents had been placed in the public domain.

Nickles could not be reached for comment.

UPDATE, 5:36 P.M.: I e-mailed Patterson regarding the issue of whether or not her committee received the running resume. It is the plaintiffs' lawyers who contend that the committee did not get the real running resume. Patterson writes:

I don't have the documents in my possession, since they are official Council records, but I assume we did receive the running resume because we stated on the record that we were releasing it publicly and we quoted from it. I have not followed minutely the back and forth in the two cases so I can't distinguish between what we asked for and received, and what the attorneys for the plaintiffs now claim they never got. We were pretty careful about documents, so I have to assume that if we had NOT received the 2002 running resume, we would have continued to object and would have followed up by going to court to enforce the subpoena. We did secure a Council vote to do that and would have if it had been necessary.  So I can't speak to 'missing evidence.'  We had materials that were severely redacted and felt that was inappropriate. But our focus was on setting policies and standards for the future, and we had sufficient evidence and documentation to issue the report and move on to write the First Amendment legislation.

Here is a draft of the report Patterson submitted on Pershing Park and other police actions.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Judge Sullivan should order Nickles, Terrance Ryan, Sgt. Jones, & everyone else involved in producing the running resume to appear in his courtroom, then question each one until the truth is ascertained. Some people here are lying to the court, & until it is determined who is not being truthful, it's a waste of time to continue the little song & dance routine Nickles & other DC officials are spinning.

  • Ward4NDC

    Former Ward 3 D.C. Councilmember Kathy Patterson should have been the Council Chairperson. Ms. Patterson did an excellent job as the former Judiciary Chairperson. At-Large D.C. Councilmember Phil Mendelson is a left wing liberal idiot.

  • Douglas Sparks

    I have tremendous respect for Kathy Patterson. She was one of DC's finest and most effective council members. When Kathy signs her name to a document, I believe her. Kudos to CP for posting her letter to Judge Sullivan.

  • Jack Star

    Ward4NDC, you are the idiot. I sat through those Council hearings, did you? Clearly not. For if you had you would know that yes, Mrs. Patterson is to be commended, but Councilmember Mendelson was fully engaged. Truth be told, he got what the fundamental issue was here, abuse of power by Ramsey and his gang of thugs,and their complete disregard for the Constituion and the rule of law before Mrs. Patterson did. And he kept pounding away at it. Trust me, there were powerful forces arrayed then who just wanted it to all go away.

    Phil Mendelson, left wing liberal, you bet, and thank G'd for him. That oinker Ramsey (and I guess Lanier if she truly was responsible for the hog tying - I guess that makes her a fascist too) was only interested in courting favor with his oligarchial overlords, the same folks who brought us Abu Graib, Guantanemo, secret tribunals, lost electronic records, etc., etc. etc.

    It was Phil Mendelson and Kathy Patterson who sent Ramsey groveling for his contract. I'd be think really, really hard before I would throw Mendelson over for one of Fenty's butt boys, that is for sure.

  • Fister

    Given that Patterson brought then Law Professor Mary Cheh to run the proceedings, wouldn't her notes be more pertinent?

  • Truth Hurts

    Fister, sure Cheh's "notes" are pertinent and I'm wondering when she'll weigh in. But are you suggesting that Cheh's (to date) silence undermines Patterson's letter? I hope not.

  • SaveDC2K10

    It looks like Ms. Patterson all but called Pete Nickles a liar.

  • dcblackdaddy

    Peter Nickles get Cora Wilds Master-Ho Barry out of SE Tennis Center. And do try and tell the truth about the Pershing Park case, Master AG Petee Babee and let's get both screw-ups resolved mentioned here.

  • KCinDC

    I've never understood how Lanier was confirmed so uncontroversially if much of the unhappiness with Ramsey was about Pershing Park and Lanier was the one who came up with the abusive hogtying.

  • Fister

    @truth hurts

    Absolutely not. It is just that Cheh probably produced whatever reports and analysis from that time, so Patterson is more of a figurehead at this point.

  • SaveDC2K10

    I agree with you KCinDC. Reportedly, she "invented" the hog-tying tactic to be used by MPD.

    She further testified before council members that she didn't think that it was uncomfortable. Why don't we hog-tie her for a whole day while she is at work and see if she can perform.

    So, she basically approved human rights abuse of the citizens who were caught up in Pershing-Gate and the "Adams Morgan round-up."

    The citizens who were illegally arrested at Pershing-Gate and Adams Morgan were treated much worst compared to those arrested and confined in Siberia.

    The Pershing-Gate lawsuit and the companion lawsuits brings new meaning to the lotto term "Mega-Millions."

    Why isn't Ramsey, Lanier and Newsham, "LLP," held accountable for the "Mega-Millions?"

    Just think for all of these constitutional rights violations to occur right hear in the Nation's Capitol is chilling. You would expect something like this to happen in a Third World country.

    Not in the most powerful city in the World in which the U.S. prides itself on being a leader in DEMOCRACY!

    Citizens must demand that oversight hearings be conducted by the city council or a special inspector general into the blatant constitutional rights violations, the forthcoming "Mega-Millions" payout, the massive crimial cover-up in the destruction of evidence and other criminal acts.

  • candycane1

    So is it safe to say that Nickles lied to protect the police chief?

  • Jack Star

    candycane1, It is more like they have all lied to protect larger lies, that being that they are competent.
    Ramsey was a complete incompetent but the game he did play better then most, until he got completely caught out in this Pershing Park mess (and also the emergency call center fiasco stemming from the fatal fire at Dupont Circle, and oh, also the mistaken arrest of Councilmember Jim Graham) was using trumped up statistics to support publicity releases in lieu of competent management and solid policy.

    What does appear to be emerging is that Lanier is cut from the same cloth, in which case she needs to be fired.

  • Marciela

    It is often said in the city that Lanier lies to protect her boss as well. What kind of protection is she giving the Mayor? What has he done that the police could need to lie for him other than the car accident where he fled the scene after getting an illegal report?

  • candycane1

    Earlier rumors had it that she got the job as chief for supressing a domestic violence call at the Fenty home while he was a councilmember running for mayor. I know police officers that confirmed that one.

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  • Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich

    Candycane, MPD officers from almost every ward confirm that Lanier covered up domestic dispute calls between Adrian and Michelle Fenty. Some have also added that Michelle Fenty has a record as slumlord, I dunno.

    Still, the rumors that things aren't okay in the Fenty household confuse me. Rumors that Michelle Fenty has moved out, then the rumors that Fenty has moved out and is sleeping with his special assistant. Who knows.

    But from that family photo in Jamaica everyone at least "looks" pretty happy...except for his twins...maybe they're pissed about going to public school in this fall.

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