City Paper is not for tourists
A District nonprofit that provides various social services took HIV/AIDS money to fix up a warehouse that’s now a strip club. That’s according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan. Nathan is suing reformed city gangster Cornell Jones and his nonprofit—-Miracle Hands—-for $1 million because of the alleged shenanigans involved.
In court documents filed at D.C. Superior Court Tuesday, Nathan contends Jones and his operation received $329,653 in city funding to renovate a warehouse at 2127 Queens Chapel Road NE as a job training center for residents with HIV/AIDS. A press release from Nathan’s office explains that what the city got instead was writhing bodies and body glitter.
The Complaint charges that although Miracle Hands had decided by early 2007 to change the location of its planned job-training facility from 2127 Queens Chapel Road to 2145 Queens Chapel Road, it continued to submit invoices to the District for renovation work performed at the 2127 Queens Chapel Road location. A nightclub liquor license was secured in August 2006 for the 2127 Queens Chapel Road location, which, following its renovation, was opened in 2010 as the Stadium Club.
Stadium is a sprawling high-end nudie joint where you can also order a good steak. According to the Washington Times, Jones sold the city-spiffed warehouse to Stadium Club owner Keith Forney for $2.7 million in March; the business had leased the property from Jones prior to that. Miracle Hands never opened the training center.
Councilmember David Catania, who chairs the committee on health and has been sounding the alarm about Miracle Hands, calls the situation “egregious impropriety.” Messages left for Jones weren’t answered, and court records don’t show he’s acquired a lawyer yet, but it’ll be interesting to hear his side of the story, which if he’s creative, might start something like, “Well, we meant for it to be a job training center but then someone donated this pole and…”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery