On August 12, AG Peter Nickles submitted his sworn statement to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. By now, the statement has been read by several Pershing Park experts. Their verdict: Nickles’ statement needs a re-write! Councilmember Phil Mendelson and Former Councilmember Kathy Patterson caught several possible errors.
Mendelson took issue with Nickles’ claims that the D.C. Council had prevented him from instituting reforms at OAG and had cut OAG’s budget. Patterson found fault with Nickles’ assertion that his attorneys had been blocked from getting materials discovered in the council’s Pershing Park investigation. Patterson says the majority of those materials were made available to the public along with her detailed final report.
Today, City Desk reached Councilmember Mary Cheh. Cheh had helped lead the D.C. Council’s investigation into the mass arrests at Pershing Park.
Her take on Nickles’ statement: “This is an attempt to exonerate himself from any liability,” she says. “From what I can tell, he has misled the court….This is just an erroneous, unreliable self-serving statement on his part.”
Cheh also found fault with Nickles’ claim that the OAG was denied access to the council’s Pershing Park materials (page 10 of his statement). She also took issue with Nickles’ claims that the council had received the running resume—-a major piece of evidence in the case that has gone missing. The council did not get a copy of the running resume despite requesting one from the D.C. Police Department.
And Cheh backs up Mendelson’s complaint that Nickles shouldn’t blame the council for OAG’s file mismanagement. “To lay things back on the council is actually laughable,” she says. “There was money in the OCTO budget for document management. Nickles and the executive office never came forward with a plan, never sought that money to reform their office. This is a guy who can’t run his own office. It’s a mess… and he ought to own up to it.”
Nickles’ statement did nothing to shake Cheh from her recent statement calling for the attorney general to go. “The man should resign,” she says.
*photo by Darrow Montgomery.