City Paper is not for tourists
This week, Loose Lips wrote about the long-neglected Columbia Heights house belonging to activists Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff. After yesterday’s hearing before the city’s condemnation board, LL spoke with Brizill for nearly an hour at the Au Bon Pain at North Capitol and H Streets.
Early this morning, Imhoff posted a preemptive response to the column on DCWatch’s biweekly Internet newsletter, referring several times to LL’s conversation with Brizill. Allow LL to correct the record:
- LL had not “confirmed that the complaint had been politically motivated.” LL’s reporting turned up no evidence of the complaint’s motivation, political or otherwise. In fact, Brizill herself posited that the original citation came in a June code-enforcement sweep after the murder of a 13-year-old a block away.
- LL had not been “tipped off to the proceedings by a person ‘at the Wilson Building’ who wanted him…to try to embarrass us.” LL was tipped off, but he did not reveal to Brizill where the tipping-off took place. And the tip said nothing of the condemnation proceedings—-that required several weeks of good old-fashioned reporting—-only that some sort of notice had been posted on the house.
- LL never told Brizill, “Your house is very large and very grand….You can’t afford your house….You can’t afford your repairs.” LL merely asked Brizill if she and Imhoff had considered moving to more manageable environs, considering their oft-cited decision to “live modestly on a limited income.” Seems like a fair question, no?
- Most outlandish of all is the notion that LL urged Brizill to sell the house to developers “who I know are knocking on your door.” LL, owner of a income-limited co-op apartment, is not in a position to be offering real estate advice to anyone.
- Truth be told, LL does not recall uttering any of the words attributed to him. (Except, maybe, “at the Wilson Building.” He probably strung those words together at some point.) Not surprising: LL was the only person present taking notes. In fact, at one point, Brizill had to borrow LL’s pen to write down his phone extension.
NB: LL also needs to make a clarification: He referred to Brizill and Imhoff’s “legendary exposé” of Mayor Anthony A. Williams‘ forged election petitions. It was actually Tom Sherwood at WRC-TV who broke the fake-petitions story. Brizill and Imhoff pressed the issue with the city’s elections board and eventually got him kicked off the primary ballot.