As Fenty softens, Peter Nickles offers no quarter
Mayor Adrian Fenty might have spent the last couple of weeks pledging to change how he does business, but his most powerful aide seems not to have gotten the memo.
"I don't know if I need to be more humble; I don't know if I need to be more inclusive," said Peter Nickles Monday morning on TBD TV (formerly NewsChannel 8), in the course of noting his accomplishments as attorney general.
Host Bruce DePuyt asked Nickles if he, like his boss, would pledge to pursue a more collaborative, more inclusive style of governance if elected to a second term.
"I've got a different kind of job. I'm not a politician," Nickles said. "When it comes to protecting the citizens of the District, I've got to be persistent, I've got to be tough."
Nickles offered proof that his combative style gets results, citing his efforts to recover some of the $50 million city funds lost in the Office of Tax and Revenue embezzlement scandal, his policing of payday loan operators, and his recent settlement with alleged fraudsters targeting African-American churches.
He detailed his intervention this summer to settle a rent strike among tenants of the Marbury Plaza apartments in Southeast. After hearing about bad conditions inside the complex during a recent heat wave, Nickles said he brought both sides into his office and offered to mediate a settlement: "They said, 'Sounds great; give a week to think about it.' I said, 'Uh-uh. No week. Ten minutes.'"
Left unmentioned was his key role in the most politically fraught matters to embroil the Fenty administration -- such as his decision to settle with controversial contractor Banneker Ventures over the cancellation of parks contracts or his role in having D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray's overheight fence removed.
Nickles made it clear he'd be back for a second term if Fenty would have him. "If the mayor wants me to stay and if I can stay, I'll do it," Nickles said. "Our work is not finished."
Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post
August 23, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories: Adrian Fenty , DCision 2010 , The District
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