When faced with a court summons, Margaret Moore, director of the D.C. Department of Corrections, has decided to borrow a rule from the criminal handbook: hide. For more than a week, process server Norman Hungerford has made several attempts to serve Moore with papers in a civil trial, Pryor vs. D.C. et al., which lists Moore as a separate defendant. The suit alleges that inmate Benita Pryor was cuffed and beaten by prison guards in a holding cell of D.C. jail after refusing their requests to perform a striptease. Over the weekend, Hungerford stuffed the court papers into a gift box and attempted a delivery at home. Moore still didn’t bite. Pryor’s attorney, William Claiborne, says he would just like the case to move forward, since the District has already defaulted. “It’s laughable that as she moves around town, she is dogged by a process server,” Claiborne says. “I think it illustrates her attitude toward the rights of inmates. She doesn’t even think it’s important enough to respond to a lawsuit.”
At-Large Candidate In exactly which ward is Rod Wheeler running for D.C. Council? A May 14th press release announcing his candidacy lists his address as 101 G St. SW, in Ward 2, even though Wheeler is a registered independent candidate in the Ward 5 race. The sporting-goods-store owner and former D.C. homicide detective explains that he headed northeast a few months before he filed his petitions to run in Ward 5. Wheeler now lives at a bona fide Ward 5 address, 535 Edgewood St. NE, though his campaign business cards list his address as 2301-K Georgia Ave. NW, in Ward 1. When asked whether his campaign office for the Ward 5 race is actually in Ward 1, Wheeler fudged. “Well, sort of,” he responded. It is the address of his business, Athletics USA, which is in Wonder Plaza near Howard University. Ward 1 residents who happen to be interested in the Ward 5 race can stop by to pick up Wheeler’s campaign brochures and literature any time during business hours.
Wheels of Fury Some D.C. residents shy away from patronizing local businesses for one reason: They simply can’t get in the door. According to University Legal Services (ULS), nearly one out of every three District businesses violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the federal law mandating that all public facilities be accessible to the disabled. Last week, ULS filed suit against several D.C. businesses in violation of the ADA, including four Burrito Brothers, three Olsson’s Books and Records, and a Subway in Georgetown. According to Sandy Bernstein, staff lawyer at ULS, the suits are just the beginning of a District-wide campaign for ADA compliance no holds barred. “We’re hoping these suits will push businesses to voluntarily comply,” says Bernstein. “But if not, we are fully willing to litigate.”
Cleaning Up the Bomb Spotted strolling along a grassy knoll near 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE one evening last month: U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen, his bodyguard, and his dog. When nature called and the dog answered right there on the grass, it was the defense secretary who did the dirty work. Cohen swiftly reached into a suit breast pocket, pulled out a sealable baggie, and scooped the poop as his bodyguard looked on, reports a bystander.
Shock Troops After walking the streets in July with Sgt. Frank Morgan, the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) one-man prostitution detail (“The Sheriff of Naughtyham,” 5/15), MPD chief Charles Ramsey has allocated Morgan additional ammunition in his skin-trade crusade. Seven male officers, five female officers, and a sergeant have been reassigned to Morgan’s detail. Ramsey and his No. 2, Executive Assistant Chief Terrance Gainer, were reportedly shocked at the brazenness of streetwalkers soliciting business on District streets. Morgan now reports that the battle is breaking his way. “We had 267 cases last month, and more than 200 this month,” he notes. “And these aren’t just lockups they’re good cases.” Not that undercover work is always necessary: Last weekend, an unbelievably clueless sex solicitor approached Morgan a cop straight out of the Hill Street Blues school of casting and mistook him for a pimp.
Reporting by Jason Cherkis, Laura Lang, Frappa Stout, Jake Tapper, and Bobby White II.