The District’s move to evict Cora Masters Barry‘s Recreation Wish List Committee from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center has certainly caused a late-summer dust-up among politicos. District officials have given Masters Barry 30 days to vacate the facility, citing that the committee’s corporate charter had lapsed.
In Sunday’s WaPo story, AG Peter Nickles stood firm on the decision to send Masters-Barry an eviction notice, saying: “Legally, you can’t give them a break. This is not the fault of the city. They should have known better. They were trying to do business with the city when they knew their status as a registered D.C. corporation had been revoked by the government.”
But Committee Board Chair Chance Patterson tells City Desk, the District erred when it originally notified the nonprofit that its corporate status had been revoked. Patterson claims the organization never received any warning or notice. In fact, Patterson says, the city mailed the notification to the wrong address.
“It was an early address,” Patterson says. “I don’t know if someone moved. It never got re-routed. It was sent to an address that no one was aware of. We’ve been very diligent about our paperwork in general in all the other areas.”
In a letter sent to the city today, the non-profit’s lawyer, A. Scott Bolden made similar arguments.
Bolden noted in his letter—-sent to Nickles, Fenty, and Robin Eve-Jasper of the Department of Real Estate Services—-that the committee should have received a default notice as its lease requires. Once the notice was sent out, the committee would have had 30 days to correct the problem with its corporate documents. He also backed up Patterson’s claim that the committee never received notice that its corporate status had been revoked.
*photo of Cora Masters Barry by Darrow Montgomery.