Hosts of Gray's victory party owe city $860K in taxes
The owners of Love nightclub -- where presumptive mayor-elect Vincent Gray and presumptive council chairman-elect Kwame Brown have scheduled a victory party tomorrow night -- owe the city nearly $900,000 in unpaid taxes, WRC-TV's Tom Sherwood reported this evening.
The club is owned by Marc Barnes and wife Ann, who have long been prime shakers in the local nightlife scene. They have also been prodigious political fundraisers, hosting events for city officials. Gray has hosted yearly events at the Barnes' other club, the Park at 14th, to commemorate the annual Congressional Black Caucus conference. His campaign recently also hosted a volunteer event there.
In late July, the Barneses and their corporate entities filed for bankruptcy -- months after city authorities shut down love for three months following a New Year's Eve stabbing there. Last week, city liquor authorities approved the sale of the club to another impresario, Dean Smothers, whose club The Scene has been in tax trouble of its own. It is unclear if the deal has since been consummated.
According to bankruptcy court filings, as of Aug. 4, the Barneses owed the city $233,662 in personal income taxes, penalties and interest plus $630,381 in various business taxes.
"I don't really know a lot about Marc Barnes' financial challenges but he's always been someone you can work with," Gray said in an on-camera interview with Sherwood, adding that his campaign had gotten bids on hosting the victory bash.
The party will go on, Gray's campaign said in a statement.
After presenting his report, Sherwood emphasized that he had been tipped by "several close associates" of the soon-to-be mayor, concerned that the venue presented the "wrong image for Gray."
WRC anchor Craig Melvin had an additional question for Sherwood: "How is a business allowed to even operate when it owes that much in back taxes?"
Photo by Dominic Bracco II/The Washington Post
| November 1, 2010; 6:35 PM ET
Categories: DCision 2010, The District, Vincent Gray
Save & Share: Previous: Last-minute lobbying on elected AG ballot question
Next: DeMorning DeBonis: Nov. 2, 2010
Posted by: tacard1 | November 1, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: guylady201001 | November 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Logan1245 | November 2, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RCDC | November 2, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ward4DC | November 3, 2010 3:35 AM | Report abuse