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Is the D.C. Council about to be sucked into the Peaceoholics trial? Anti-violence activist Ron Moten, who’s accused along with Peaceoholics co-founder Jauhar Abraham of cooking their group’s forms to score city grant money, has listed Councilmembers Jim Graham, Jack Evans, and Marion Barry as potential witnesses to call at trial.
Moten, an Adrian Fenty loyalist who doubled as the ex-mayor’s go-go community organizer, has fallen on hard times since Vince Gray took over the mayor’s office. The District’s lawsuit accuses him and Abraham of understating their salaries on tax forms, and alleges that Abraham used the group as a cover to buy two SUVs for himself.
Johnny Barnes, Moten’s lawyer, says calling the councilmembers at trial will prove that Moten shouldn’t be charged.
‘The councilmembers have commented on countless occasions before about Mr. Moten’s role, and we have it on videotape,” Barnes tells LL.
It’s not clear what they would be asked to testify about. No date has been set yet for the trial. Staffers for Evans and Barry declined to comment, while Graham’s chief of staff didn’t respond to LL about whether the outgoing councilmember would agree to testify.
While Moten has been fighting the charges last June 2013, co-founder Abraham didn’t respond to them on the grounds that the District never properly served him with the lawsuit. After being slapped with a nearly $640,000 judgment and garnishment order after ignoring the case, though, Abraham filed his own attempt in August to get out of the financial penalty. LL couldn’t reach Abraham for comment.
While asking the court to ditch the judgment, Abraham alleged bad behavior from the District’s process server, including an attempt to serve him that ended with the server purportedly almost hitting a child with the pack of court papers. For his part, the process server’s affidavit describes an elaborate cat-and-mouse game spent trying to figure out exactly where Abraham lives. No wonder Moten thinks they need some councilmembers to sort this out.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery