Housing Complex

Anacostia Eviction Battle: The Salvation Army, a Former Mayoral Candidate, and the Shadow Campaign?

A battle is brewing over an Anacostia health center facing eviction—and it appears to involve an alleged central figure in the so-called "shadow campaign" to help elect Mayor Vince Gray.

The fight is between the Spirit Fitness Health and Wellness Center and the Salvation Army. Rev. Willie Wilson, the president of Spirit and a senior pastor at Anacostia's Union Temple Baptist Church, alleges that the Salvation Army is unfairly evicting Spirit from its 2300 Martin Luther King Ave. SE building. Wilson, a 2002 mayoral candidate, claims in a press release that the Salvation Army is not abiding by its agreement to lower the rent if Spirit can't afford to pay the full rent, and that when Spirit proposed a new agreement in October, the Salvation Army did not respond and then moved to evict Spirit without notice. The court eviction hearing is set for Monday.

"The Salvation Army’s action is stark exploitation and deception," Wilson says in the release.

But the Salvation Army tells a very different story. Lewis Reckline, the national capital area commander of the Salvation Army, says his organization signed a lease with Spirit in 2009 that charged Spirit no rent or fees for the first year, and subsequently a reduced rent of about $530 per month, plus maintenance, parking, and real estate taxes. Reckline says Spirit is in arrears of about $160,000 as a result of incomplete payment of the $8,500 monthly maintenance fee. The court summons alleges that Spirit failed to pay $157,635.79 between Dec. 1, 2010 and Nov. 1, 2012.

Reckline says the Salvation Army did respond to Spirit's proposal, which he says was for a 10-year lease. "We opted not to engage in a 10-year lease because they were already in arrears at that time." As for Wilson's claim that the Salvation Army had agreed to lower the rent if Spirit couldn't pay, Reckline says, "That's not correct."

Wilson announced his intention to hold a rally today to protest the eviction. But when I reached him by phone, he said the protest was canceled.

"There’s been a little activity today, so we’re not going to do anything today," he said. When I asked what kind of activity, he responded, "Doing a little discussing, a little talking, you know." He declined to say with whom he was doing the discussing. The Salvation Army's Dale Bannon says that Spirit's legal counsel has been in contact with the Salvation Army's legal counsel today.

I asked Wilson about Reckline's statements regarding the lease with Spirit. "What I said, I stand by everything that I said," Wilson responded. "This project started almost seven years ago, and they have changed personnel several times, and everybody is not aware of everything that was going on."

At that point, he said he couldn't discuss the matter any further. "My attorney advised me not to say anything else today," he said.

Wilson is listed as the president of Spirit on filings to the D.C. government in 2009 and 2010, but when I asked him if he was president, he said he couldn't answer that question.

But the story appears to go beyond Wilson and the Salvation Army to include an alleged key player in what federal prosecutors call the "shadow campaign" to help Gray get elected. Vernon Hawkins, an alleged coordinator of the shadow campaign, is listed as Spirit's treasurer on a 2009 nonprofit corporation filing to the D.C. government, and he was present at multiple meetings between Spirit and the Salvation Army, according to Reckline and Bannon, including a Nov. 1 meeting to discuss Spirit's eviction.

"He has always been introduced to us as the chief operating officer of the church," says Bannon. Wilson denied that Hawkins was the church's chief operating officer.

Wilson previously organized a rally for Gray and called for an investigation of former Mayor Adrian Fenty, Gray's 2010 opponent.

Reckline says that the Salvation Army wanted to lease to a nonprofit tenant, which he initially believed Spirit was. "We were under the assumption that Spirit was a nonprofit organization," Reckline says. "We have since found out that Spirit is a for-profit company. Which leads us to believe that we were misled from the beginning."

The Salvation Army does not operate the building at a profit; "if everything’s paid across the board, it would break even," Reckline says. The other tenants are Pepco and two nonprofits, the Southeast Children's Fund and So Others Might Eat.

"We would like to continue on with another nonprofit health and wellness program in the community," says Reckline.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Typical DC BS

    "Reverend" Willie Wilson lying? Say it ain't so! About time this crook got caught up with his lying ass exposed.

  • Capital City Records Panhandler

    Spirit hasn't done much to attract new memberships. Most folks don't/didn't know they were even up there. What a view of Anacostia from up there... how will it be different in a couple years?

  • Pingback: Spirit Fitness Eviction Trial Set for Jan. 29 - Housing Complex

  • Disappointed

    Dag, this was an excellent affordable gym for All, i am soo sorry there was no legitimate management. I'm praying, Please get another fitness tenant and reopen as soon as possible. I need my peaceful workouts with a view. Thank you,

  • http://www.wholesaleglassescheap.us/nike-sunglasses-c-106.html sunglasses outlet online

    I am curious to locate out what weblog platform you happen to be employing?I’m having some minor security issues with my latest weblog and I would like to locate something far more risk-free. Do you might have any suggestions?

  • http://edhardypascher.edhardyshoppascher.com ed hardy slippers

    site internet Superbe . . Beaucoup d'informations utiles ici . Je l'envoie à somefriends ans partageant aussi délicieux . Et naturellement , merci pour votre sueur

  • http://www.hatswholesale.us/belts-c-111.html Wholesale Belts China

    Thanks for your blog, really exciting

  • http://www.hatswholesale.us/sunglasses-c-117.html Cheap Sunglasses Wholesale

    hi and thanks regarding the certain post ive really been looking regarding this kind of information online for sum time these days hence thanks a whole lot.

  • http://www.wholesaleglassescheap.us/bvlgari-sunglasses-c-12.html sunglasses outlet store online

    Do you know that your site loads somewhat weird in Internet Explorer 7? Some of the edges are chopped off. Awesome article regardless.

  • http://polosralphlaurenhombrebaratos.blogspot.com polo ralph lauren tienda

    Cada mujer joven va a mirar y pensar que es normal para que parezca que no es, dijo Curry. De acuerdo con un comunicado de prensa, la Oficina del Secretario de Estado se asoció con el Departamento del Sheriff del Condado de Lexington para llevar a cabo una picadura, el 30 de noviembre

  • http://www.wholesaleonlineshop.us/watches-c-121.html Watches Wholesale

    Hi there, You have done a great job. I'll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I'm sure they'll be benefited from this web site.

  • http://www.equipacionesdefutbolbaratas.org/ camiseta fútbol baratos,camisetas fútbol barata,equipaciones de fútbol baratas,camisetas fútbol online,camiseta fútbol barato,venta camisetas fútbol

    La mayor selección de camisetas de fútbol baratas a la venta con camisetas de La Copa Mundial de la FIFA Brasil 2014,Liga LFP,Premier League,Serie A,Bundesliga.Sólo vendemos camisetas de fútbol calidad alta.

  • http://www.boutiques-pas-cher.com/ Pull Ralph Lauren Pas Cher

    chemise ralph lauren femme

  • http://poloralphlaurenmujeroutlet.blogspot.com polo ralph lauren hombre outlet

    ! Fantástico post, creo que los propietarios de sitios deben adquirir una gran cantidad de este sitio web web a sus usuarios realmente agradable

  • http://tiendaonlineropas.blogspot.com chaquetas ralph lauren mujer

    . Su hora de que toqué en aunque esta era una creencia bastante fresco para

  • http://soldespoloralphlauren.blogspot.com pull ralph lauren pas cher

    Crew préférée, Pottery Barn, marque de vêtements Van Heusen des hommes et Kenneth Cole ont tous dit Tanger ils sont intéressés à ouvrir des magasins d'usine au Canada.

  • http://tods-pas-cher.blogspot.com tod’s homme

    . C'est le moment opportun de faire des plans pour l'avenir et il est temps d'être heureux. J'ai lu ce post et si je pouvais je désire vous suggérer quelques points ou des conseils fascinants. Peut-être que vous serez capable d'écrire les articles suivants se rapportant à ce poste. Je tiens à lire encore plus de choses à ce sujet

  • http://polosralphlaurenbaratas.blogspot.com polo ralph lauren online

    . Gracias por su mensaje sitio. Jones y yo estamos realmente ahorrando para obtener una nueva publicación sobre este tema y su puesto ha hecho a todos nosotros para salvar nuestro propio dinero. Sus nociones de verdad aclararon todas nuestras preguntas. De hecho, mucho más de lo que habíamos pensado antes de cuando nos topamos con su fantástico blog. Ya no nos nutrimos dudas tan bien como una mente perturbada porque has hecho que asistieron a nuestras propias necesidades en este post. Gracias

  • Pingback: blue ofica

  • Pingback: Blue Coaster33

  • Pingback: Beutiful public spycam in shopping mall comp

  • Pingback: Direct TV

  • Pingback: TV options for restaurants

  • Pingback: mp4 mobile porn

  • Pingback: lan penge nu sms

  • Pingback: laan penge her og laan penge nu

  • Pingback: stop parking

  • Pingback: car parking

  • Pingback: pay day loans

  • Pingback: paypal loans

  • Pingback: level 3 electrician jobs

  • Pingback: plumbers wrenches

  • Pingback: cool training

  • Pingback: water ionizer pay plan loans

  • Pingback: cawzevcytnubnsfetxygc

  • Pingback: zakład szklarski piotrków trybunalski

  • Pingback: camifdnvcfxmgcfxcfsfgsfm

  • Pingback: house blue

  • Pingback: ionizer payment plan

  • Pingback: payment plan

  • Pingback: alkaline water brands

  • Pingback: view more

  • Pingback: alkaline water

  • Pingback: water ionizer

  • Pingback: water ionizer