How Not To Make Friends
The jury is still out on whether the parks contracts mess will be murder for Mayor Adrian Fenty's political career. But it's clearly been a good year for famed attorney-to-the-stars A. Scott Bolden. He gets to wrack up billable hours representing Fenty's fraternity brothers, Omar Karim and Sinclair Skinner, at depositions with a special investigator and hearings before the council, working on settlements for months with Peter Nickles, and suing the city over money he says his clients are owed.
LL broke the news last week that Bolden is suing on behalf of his client, Banneker Ventures, over a breach of contract. That contract is a $550,000 settlement Nickles entered into with Banneker after the D.C. Council canceled its original contract to do parks and rec construction work. The council is pissed about this settlement because they think the original contracts were improperly given by the Fenty administration as a way to enrich his fraternity brothers, and have told CFO Natwar Gandhi not to pay.
LL finally got around to getting his hands on the complaint, and noticed that Banneker is not only asking for the $550,000, but also for interest and attorney fees. Standard stuff in a civil suit to be sure, but it's not hard to imagine several councilmembers, including Phil Mendelson—who ran against Bolden in 2006—chafing at the notion of tax dollars going straight into Bolden's pocket if he wins.
And it's not like he doesn't have a good chance of winning. After all, doesn't he have a signed settlement with the city's attorney general for $550,000? Nickles himself says he thinks they have a good case, and there's no way he's going to be able to go into court and argue against the settlement he negotiated.
But all of that is just prelude to get to this: Bolden is a big old baby. LL tried to get in touch with him about this lawsuit only to receive this unkind e-mail:
Off the record. Not for print or to be printed.
Mr. Suderman, I do not talk to the City Paper or Loose Lips under any circumstances. Accordingly, please refrain from contacting me in the future. Please respect my wishes. Thanks.
Okay, pal, have it your way. But off the record is a two-way street, and LL isn't going on any trips with you, Mr. Bolden.
(Note to readers: If you send tips to LL and preface them with "off the record," LL will most definitely respect those wishes, unless your name is A. Scott Bolden.)
Photo by Darrow Montgomery