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Posted at 6:03 PM ET, 12/10/2010

Peter Nickles moves to further complicate Vince Gray's mayoralty

By Mike DeBonis

Attorney General Peter J. Nickles, in his final weeks in office, appears to be on a mission to hand Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray as many potentially embarrassing political decisions as possible.

Last month, Nickles filed suit against well-connected developer R. Donahue Peebles, alleging he had overcharged the city for rent on a Southeast Washington building by $1.2 million. Earlier this week, pursuant to a Nickles's subpoena, a judge ordered D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. to cough up potentially troublesome records pertaining to a nonprofit organization, Team Thomas, by Jan. 8.

And today, Nickles moved to decertify six homes run by Individual Development Inc., a company run by prominent city lobbyist David W. Wilmot, come Feb. 23. The homes serve some of the city's most severely developmentally disabled residents and have been criticized for a poor level of care. Nickles negotiated a settlement with the company last year after threatening to seek a court receiver, and in October, Nickles fined IDI for being in violation of the settlement. City Paper has more on today's action.

Within weeks of taking office, Gray and his new attorney general will be faced with a trio of decisions:

-- Will he continue to pursue the back rent allegedly owed by Peebles, who was a leading critic of Mayor Adrian Fenty?

-- Will he demand and disseminate the records from Thomas, a stalwart supporter?

-- And will he keep the heat on the homes run by Wilmot, one of the city's leading power brokers?

Pursuing each would stand to annoy and embarrass Gray's political allies. Not pursuing them would embarrass Gray himself.

By Mike DeBonis  | December 10, 2010; 6:03 PM ET
Categories:  The District, Vincent Gray  
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Comments

I can't wait for the Reeper to come take Nickles down under where he belongs. Good riddance to this old troll.

Posted by: CaptainKangaroo | December 10, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Only the WP will be upset with mayor gray after he cleans up Nickels foolish tirades of a loser gone rogue.

Posted by: bill121 | December 11, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Nickles is erratic, petty and vindictive. His irrational decisions have cost the District millions in legal fees and other expenses. Many judges in this town have little respect for his tenure as Attorney General and will be just as glad to see him go as Mayor Gray.

Posted by: PepperDr | December 11, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Vincent Gray will have the integrity to work with the City Council to set up the office of D.C. Attorney General to be an independent legal representative of the City instead of a sleazy political tool of the mayor's office. Adrian Fenty and Peter Nickles are both corrupt politicians.

Posted by: SCOTTSCHMIDTT | December 11, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

WCP reports that Mr. Gray is bringing Crystal Palmer back to run the film and television office. This is a terrible mistake. Apparently Ms. Palmer(Mrs. Harold Brazil) sees this as some kind of lifetime sinecure for herself but she had the job for 20+ years and was terrible, absolutely terrible, at it. We have only just begun to see the benefits of this office having been turned around after years of gathering dust while Palmer collected a salary.

I am really kind of in shock that anyone would even consider this. I guess I was complacent that the Crystal Palmer problem had been solved, it never occurred to me that she would be brought back.

Anyone with access to Mr. Gray, please ask him to reconsider this appointment. Others pleaselet him know how you feel. This will set the city to marching backwards. Palmer has managed to maneuver herself into keeping this job for so long by flying under the radar screen and allowing Harold Brazil to continue living in her garage but this is very important. A huge segment of the economic engine of our city (theaters, hotel, restaurants, rental companies) will be very adversely affected both directly and indirectly by Palmer getting this job back. Please, Mr. Gray, if this is true, reconsider.

Film professionals know all to well what it was like to try and work in DC under Crystal Palmer and they will immediately look elsewhere. Baltimore will reap a huge benefit from this appointment if that is the goal.

Posted by: ManOpener | December 11, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@manopener.....

We get it. YOU dont like it that he gave the job to her instead of YOU. Perhaps if you had talked more about what you could do when you had the chance instead of talking about Crystal so bad... you would have gotten the job. Let this be a lesson for you. Job interviews are a tool for you to promote yourself. Use that time for anything else and you count yourself out of the equation.

Now... please stop leaving this same message on EVERY article on EVERY paper unless the topic of the article is the stupid film office (which I, by the way, think should have been abolished all together!) Instead of making her look bad (which, if she is that bad she can do all by herself) you make yourself look not only disgruntled, but crazy. I bet the transition office is thanking their lucky stars they didn't hire you.

Posted by: tformation1 | December 11, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I have to say it is going to be fun to watch the sanctimonious free fall during the first year or 2 under Gray. The city will be worse for it, but it will be fun to watch, and the I-told-you-so's will be sweet.

Posted by: streff | December 11, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Gray answered this question at his press conference announcement last week. He supports an independent attorney general who understands that their client is the citizens. Whomever is appointed to this position, soon to be elected, will be given the authority to look at the cases and make a legal determination as to whether it is in the best interest of the citizens to move them forward or squash them.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | December 12, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Nickles is a VA resident, a carpetbagger who works for a crook. GO HOME.

@streff - Stop kissing bu55 and be quiet. Fenty is gone and you must get over it.

PS-are you dating Fenty?

Posted by: guylady201001 | December 13, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Don Peebles was an attendee at Gray's victory party. Will he pursue Peebles? NO! People don't be fooled. Remember the mysterious ads against Fenty that no one knew who put them out. Peebles was walking around that party with those ads in hand, not to say he put them out, but eh that stuff costs lots of money. C'mon. And, Thomas and Gray appear to be joined at the hip. All will be swept under the rug.

Posted by: faineant | December 13, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@manpower - you are correct in your assessments. Gray's campaign shopkeepers are the ones who Fenty fired. They could be heard fuming all the time. Crystal Palmer's soon-to-be regained position (after 20 yrs) is that of a supreme court justice -- she is in their for life provided the citizens of DC keep electing people like Gray just because he went to Dunbar. Just like Eleanor Holmes Norton. She does nothing but she continues to gain successful elections time and again. Darn, I sure wish I went to Dunbar. DC is ghetto. We need to change the ghetto politics here. Ha Ha Ha...what ignorance. C'mon people, get educated. The citizens of DC owe her nothing but why does Gray feels he owes her something.

Posted by: faineant | December 13, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@manpower - you are correct in your assessments. Gray's campaign shopkeepers are the ones who Fenty fired. They could be heard fuming all the time. Crystal Palmer's soon-to-be regained position (after 20 yrs) is that of a supreme court justice -- she is in their for life provided the citizens of DC keep electing people like Gray just because he went to Dunbar. Just like Eleanor Holmes Norton. She does nothing but she continues to gain successful elections time and again. Darn, I sure wish I went to Dunbar. DC is ghetto. We need to change the ghetto politics here. Ha Ha Ha...what ignorance. C'mon people, get educated. The citizens of DC owe her nothing but why does Gray feels he owes her something.

Posted by: faineant | December 13, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

We will see that with the Gray administration it's not about the continuance of moving a city a forward, it's about putting ol' heads back in place so that they can collect that "good gov'ment paycheck." ROTFLMAO (You know the song that we love..."do it to me one more time...just one more time.")

Posted by: faineant | December 13, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

By the way. The following was posted on DC Watch on December 12:

Lorraine Green
Anonymous

I’m writing on behalf of the Gray campaign supporters; we have been egregiously mistreated by the Transition Chair, Lorraine Green. We worked tirelessly for Vince Gray’s success. Ms. Green’s very negative and disrespectful attitude toward the Gray supporters who worked for free is insulting, to say the least. We are not name calling; we are trying our level best to express ourselves about a very serious matter. For this Transition Team to disrespect District voters and volunteers in this fashion does not speak well for how Vince Gray will run this city, nor does it speak to the campaign theme he won victory with: his differences from Fenty.

We would like to know how Lorraine Green’s daughter, Leslie Green, was placed in a six-figure-salary job working with Kaya Henderson at DCPS; this was done directly after the general election. We would like to ask these very relevant questions to Mayor-elect Gray; however, he is unreachable, untouchable, and appears not to care.

We, the fearless, tireless volunteers of Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8 were looking to be included; instead, we have been excluded. To have a secretive Transition Team that is comprised of eleven members from the very Wards that did not support Vince Gray for mayor and only four members from the Wards that did support Gray is very telling. Mayor-elect Gray is from Ward 7, and yet there is no member of this Transition Team from his very own Ward, his base, and only one member representing East of the River. Mayor-elect Gray should remember not to disrespect the supporters of the Wards who voted him into the mayor’s office. We secured Mayor-elect Gray his victory; essentially, we gave him his job! DC residents who were Gray supporters want a seat at the table of the Mayor-elect that they supported with blood, sweat, tears, time, energy, effort, money, and unwavering/undying loyalty to this candidate. We are sending this to you anonymously, as we are extremely fearful of reprisal by this very unscrupulous and vindictive woman.

Posted by: faineant | December 13, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

WOW! More research suggests that Leslie Green is in the entertainment business according to her LinkedIn account. WOW to the WEEEE! She is now side-by-side with Kaya Henderson in a six figure job. Show us the qualifications of Lorraine's daughter now! We know you don't plan for another term, Vince!

Posted by: faineant | December 13, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Another thing, coming from Mr. Gray himself, which severely contradicts his actions as of late. Pay particular attention to the "taking care of friends" part:

"Too many of our residents are struggling. There are too many people without jobs. Too many parents who worry about their kids getting a quality education. Too many victims of violent crime. And too many residents who have lost trust in public leaders more interested in taking care of their friends than in taking care of the people’s business."

Posted by: faineant | December 13, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

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