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Government and People
Government of the District of Columbia
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MAYOR WILLIAMS QUESTIONS COUNCIL CONSULTANT
Lawyer Paid for Supposedly Objective Analysis Worked Previously for Northern Virginia Baseball
Mayor Anthony A. Williams issued the following statement today upon learning that the lawyer hired by the D.C. Council had previously worked against the District getting a baseball team in the first place. The Council paid Louis Cohen an undisclosed amount to advise Councilmembers on baseball; Cohen earlier worked for the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority, which fought to keep the Montreal Expos from coming to DC.
"This is a shocking conflict of interest," Mayor Williams said. "How can the residents of the District of Columbia trust the advice of a lawyer when his previous work was on behalf of Northern Virginia? It's a blatant and inherent conflict - especially now that Cohen, and others at Piper Rudnick, have encouraged the Council to take actions that could jeopardize the fragile deal to keep the Nationals in DC."
Williams added: "I assume the Council was unaware of this conflict of interest. A decision this important should not be left to a firm that sought to build a ballpark in a cow pasture in Virginia."
Peter C.B. Bynoe
February 7, 2006
DLA PIPER PRESS RELEASE
On behalf of Louis Cohen and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, Peter Bynoe, the head of the Firm's Sports Facilities Practice Group issued the following statement:
"In any project of this magnitude, complexity and expense, there is always misinformation and disinformation promulgated for a variety of reasons.
Mayor Williams' suggestion that Mr. Cohen, myself or our Firm is in a conflict of interest is completely unfounded and untrue.
As we disclosed to the City Council of the District of Columbia before we were retained, in 2004 we represented the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority (VBSA). Our engagement ended in the Fall of 2004. VBSA was dissolved at the end of 2004.
There is no legal or ethical conflict of interest in our current representation of the City Council of the District of Columbia."
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