Thursday, April 4, 2013

Graham hit with $100 million lawsuit over lottery contract/Metro development quid pro quo

Jim Graham and his Dog Just when you thought the Jim Graham influence peddling/quid pro quo scandal was over, it's back.

If you recall (and it's kind of confusing) Ward 1 councilmember Graham allegedly agreed to support a developer's employee's bid for the DC lottery contract if that developer dropped a bid for a Metro property on Florida Avenue NW. The reasons for doing this are unclear, but it may be because he was opposed to the developer, Sinclair Skinner, who was allegedly behind homophobic and racist signs aimed at Graham after Graham shut down a club in the Reeves Center that had some violent incidents.

Anyway, after this latest scandal, Graham was reprimanded by the council and lost a committee chairmanship, but no charges were filed.

Now that development company, Banneker Ventures, is suing Graham, the city, and another developer who Graham allegedly was helping for $100 million. Yes, million.

Graham says the suit is meritless and Banneker lost because they didn't do a good job: "Although audacious given their dismal performance and demonstrated pattern of nonfeasance, Banneker's claims are spurious and wholly unfounded. I look forward to an early dismissal."

The suit unveiled some juicy and amusing details. For one, the suit claims Graham would only meet with people from Banneker if they agreed to go to his favorite restaurant, Ten Penh. That's pretty funny. Less funny though are allegations that Graham said they first should donate $40,000 to the U Street BID, which he got up and running, before he would help them, and that they should hold a fundraiser for his campaign. If true, those are pretty serious allegations.

Photo by Mr. T in DC

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