Loose Lips

Political Operative At Center of Park Southern Scandal Sues the District

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Some people involved in a scandal that threatens to pull in the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Inspector General, and a mayoral candidate might be tempted to lay low.

But not Phinis Jones! While the District says Jones needs to cough up almost $300,000 he collected while managing Ward 8's troubled Park Southern housing complex, Jones says in a new lawsuit that the District owes him money.

Jones, a major Muriel Bowser fundraiser whose contributions haven't stopped the mayoral candidate from asking the inspector general to investigate how Jones and another supporter managed the building, lost his contract managing Park Southern when the District seized the building in April. In his lawsuit, filed July 24, Jones says that the District needs to pay him for terminating his contract without telling him in advance. Jones' lawsuit doesn't say how much money he's seeking, except that it's more than $50,000.

“They never gave him notice, and that’s what the lawsuit’s about," says Jones' lawyer, Donald M. Temple.

The District's Office of the Attorney General declined to comment on the lawsuit. In July, Department of Housing and Community Development spokesman Marcus A. Williams told LL that the District didn't need to give Jones advance notice before swapping his Capitol Services Management out for another management company.

Temple insists, though, that his client, who's also trying to buy the building, is being slimed in an attempt to hurt Bowser. Questions about the missing $300,000, according to Temple, amount to "a crock of bullshit" and "kindergarten politics."

Photo via Google Streetview

  • DC Guy

    I wonder if Murial will ever distance herself from this mess?

  • REALDC

    And the Housing Chair for the Council is ........ Bowser !!!

    The Chair for Housing in DC, one Muriel "DC Proud" Bowser has been in that position for 19 months and she has had a total of 1 committee meeting on housing. Meanwhile, homelessness in the city is out of control..... thats 1 committee meeting by Bowser!!!

    Check the record....... she is lazy and incompetent on EVERY level!!

    God help DC is she becomes Mayor!....... 1 committee meeting??

  • Juana

    Muriel thinks if she can live in a closet others can make do.

  • DCShadyBoots

    Chile.....This crooked Bowser campaign steward has a pair of brass ones. Is this her Ron Moten?

  • justsayin

    Mule-riel is going to bring more of the same types of shenanigans to her administration that she claim to find so objectionable in Gray's.

  • joan thomas

    Would Mayor Gray have allowed Phinas to purchase the building for one hundred thousand and assume the 3 million dollar loan if Gray had won the primary.
    Joyce scott and phinas switched camps when they realized the mayor may be indicted.
    Did they offer to help the Bowser get elected if the Bowser gave them the same sweet deal.
    Would the condition of park southern apts be exposed if Gray had won.
    Or would Gray and the other elected officials continue to ignore the situation along with the bullying by the apt management.
    Gray losing was a good thing.
    It appears Phinas and joyce paid Gray to play.
    Then they paid The Bowser to play.
    The Bowser is self serving. She has done nothing for ward four.
    Multiply that by a thousand to figure out what she would do for the city.

  • itsjustamess

    Have a seat - So what? The city didn't give Phinis Jones notice and he didn't give them that $300,000.

  • Donald Temple

    The critical fact here is that Jones enjoyed a legally binding contract, which required a written notice of termination. He provided an accounting to the city of all funds expended during the life of the contract including substantial utility and other bills. The funds in dispute are in escrow. HIs contract was illegally terminated in order that a new contractor, which had been previously terminated, could get the work. Why? Bowser nor Gray have anything to do with his property management contract relationship. The politics came immediately after the election. The litigation will uncover the truth re funds, politics aside. Shamefully, we are back in the mud.

  • Donald Temple

    The critical fact here is that Jones enjoyed a legally binding contract, which required a written notice of termination. He provided an accounting to the city of all funds expended during the life of the contract including substantial utility and other bills. The funds in dispute are in escrow. HIs contract was illegally terminated in order that a new contractor, which had been previously terminated, could get the work. Why? Bowser nor Gray have anything to do with his property management contract relationship. The politics came immediately after the election. The litigation will uncover the truth re funds, politics aside. Shamefully, we are back in the mud.

  • lost cause

    just a sign of what's to come since Bowser was already in a position to monitor this as the housing chair and did nothing....

  • justsayin

    So typical. The greedy ones are aggrieved when called to account for their failure to deliver on their responsibilities and nothing is being done about the abysmal conditions at Park Southern because the greedy needs their entitlement restored.

  • Sparkie123

    Chairman Mendelson needs to hold a hearing on this situation ASAP.

  • White Gay Male

    I thought Phinis Jones was a woman and now I understand, he's a man. I am not excited by this upcoming mayoral election. Out of 600,000 residents, these are the best candidates D.C. could find? No thanks!

  • citydude

    Mr Jones has a lot of skeletons in his closet..He best go away or suffer consequences!!

  • itsjustamess

    It belittles the credibility of any attorney who takes to giving his closing arguments on LL's comment section.

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