Political Operative At Center of Park Southern Scandal Sues the District
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."
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