Loose Lips

Ousted Housing Finance Director Sues D.C. Over Credit Card Rules

High-living former District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency boss Harry Sewell is back. After getting the boot last November following LL's stories about how he used his agency credit card at a luxury shoe store and Miami nightclubs, Sewell filed a lawsuit Friday against his old agency for firing him over more than 600 charges.

In his breach of contract lawsuit, filed Friday, Sewell concedes that he used his agency credit card for personal purchases. But Sewell says that didn't violate his employment rules, claiming that he reimbursed the agency for personal expenses and stopped using government cards entirely after he issued a new credit card policy in October 2013.

Sewell claims that his November ouster both cost him six months of severance pay and embarrassed him. Sewell's attorneys didn't respond to a request for comment, while a DCHFA spokeswoman declined to comment to LL, saying that the agency hasn't been served with the complaint yet.

Credit card photo by Shutterstock

  • Marvin E. Adams

    Mr. Sewell, obviously, does N-O-T know when to say when. Or to put it another way, let sleeping dogs lie. Did someone say statute of limitations?

  • Ward One Resident

    There are so many smart, thoughtful people of all age groups, races and genders that live in D.C. and yet we can't seem to hire any of them. Sigh...

  • drez

    Our tax dollars = his personal interest-free "loan".

  • Rab

    Is this guy for real? He embarrassed himself and he is an embarrassment to government officials. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and now he is mad that he lost his cookies (aka...the credit card). I hope they countersue for all of the money that he stole.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    "There are so many smart, thoughtful people of all age groups..."

    #2, you are A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y correct. The problem is this city has been a one-party town for far too long. The hierarchy of said party allows and promotes these types of individuals because of nepotism, cronyism and any other type of "ism."

    But as Sam Cooke gave us "A Change Gonna Come." And I, for one, will not only welcome it, but embrace it enthusiastically.

  • There is no justice

    Because there ain't no rules for those who rule

  • CBEsnooper

    Sewell is also the same guy who made a $400,000 loan from DCHFA to the Fenty frat brothers Omar Karim and Sinclair Skinner of Banneker Ventures. And he was a cash contributor to Karim and Skinner's sham "SuperPAC" 1911 United. And wasn't DCHFA under Sewell the agency that Fenty used to route the unapproved $80 million in contracts to Banneker? Maybe the truth behind these relationships and what happened to the $400k will come out in this lawsuit. So far those guys have gotten away with everything, only to re-emerge as Bowser cronies.

  • Barrie Daneker

    Mr. Sewell,

    You have a better chance in meeting your maker! Also, the DC govt should sue him for any and all costs related to this lawsuit. The Bullshit that goes around has to be paid for Mr. Sewell and you're on the hook. You are an embarassment to public service and furthermore another appointed person from the Gray Admin goes down! WTF!

  • SaveWard7

    He should be in jail for theft and fraud!

  • l.m.

    First, I must commend Will Sommer on this article; a job well done with following this story. I've waited seven years for revenge. Voila, it comes to me while reading the City Paper thousands of miles now living in Dubai. Life is funny that way. There's classic saying, "What comes around goes around." I'm in the rightful position to attest this outright appalling behavior. This story only shares a modest account of Sewell's demons. But, make no mistakes, Sewell is a prime example of a narcissist. These types of abuse of power continues to run deep and rampant among many Washington, D.C.'s bureaucratic executives. I'd experienced first hand the wrath of Sewell's unethical practices as he slaughtered many hard working, dedicated DCHFA's employees'jobs during his first year as the newly appointed Executive Director of DCHFA. Employees that he conceived and wiped clean of the map to make way for his fraternity brothers/cronies, personal friends and confidants many from his former days at his post in Baltimore , Maryland. In deed, time heals old wounds. I've moved on since being hatched in 2007. I had to overcome being unemployed for a year before finding work. I had mounting dept; mortgage, children's school tuition, etc. We had to sell our truck,cope with a grocery budget deduced to a budget of $50 dollars a week for a family of four. We had electricity and gas cut-off many times. This is behind me now and I don't say this out of sympathy. It made me stronger and harder. Since then, I've relocated to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and received a professional masters from Paris-Sorbonne in Urban Planning. But, I'm not at all surprised by these asinine actions by Sewell. Time also, reveals the truths of a narcissist's madness. Words of advice to Sewell, get some therapy. I think you are border line a few things. Turn yourself into the police. Allow them to lock you up and throw away the key. You will need ample time to think about all the former employees you've screwed over and money you've stolen from the Agency and from the honest, hardworking taxpayers of Washington, D.C.