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I was rather surprised to read your recent article (Suit Yourself, 9/21) that identifies Mr. [Thomas] Francis’ recent lawsuit relating to his firing and my hiring [at the D.C. Office of Property Management]. I want to first say that I wish no ill will to Mr. Francis and do not have any knowledge of the circumstances leading up to his firing. I do have problems with the comments relating to my qualifications for that specific position. You can believe what you like, but my qualifications were above and beyond what was required of this particular position. I have a long record of successes as a senior leader and manager. At the time of that hiring I had accumulated at least 24 years of security and law enforcement experience in both government and the private sectors. Of that 24 years, 20 years were dedicated to serving proudly in the military. I may even be serving today had I not opted to cut my career and future command opportunities short in 1999 for family reasons. As a retired lieutenant colonel in the military police I have served in key leadership positions such as provost marshal (chief of police equivalent), commander of military police and criminal investigative units both in the U.S. and overseas, charged with safety and security of soldiers, family members, and some of the military’s most critical assets. I have also served in the Pentagon’s Army Operations Center where I was directly responsible for law enforcement support to federal agencies, such as the FBI during the Oklahoma City bombing. I have also served in the private sector as a subject-matter expert in the arena of security for a number federal agencies. As stated earlier, I have nothing to add regarding Mr. Francis’ claims, but I do find it utterly ridiculous and absurd to even make the suggestion that my hiring was due to anything other than my proven success record. I hope you will grant your readers an opportunity to read the “black man’s” side of this very one-sided editorial. Thank you!

Plez Jenkins
Springfield, VA

Malbec to You

While I would be the last person to quantify a country’s “success” by mere GDP—and Argentinians know this well, as we have managed to maintain one of the highest literacy and advanced education rates in LatAm, despite rampant government corruption and economic chaos—you do us absolute insult by categorizing our entire capital city as some pretentious, vestigial society in decline (Film, “Cities in Ruins,” 9/21).

Coincidentally, our culture remains vibrant, and our economy has recovered quite steadily since the absolute crisis some seven years ago.

I invite you to visit Buenos Aires and see for yourself. While lodging at any of our many fine hotels, I recommend that you sample the local Malbec—it has an intense color with medium body and vigorous texture.

Leandro Oliva
U Street