Logosm.gif (1927 bytes)
navlinks.gif (4688 bytes)
Hruler04.gif (5511 bytes)

Back to Mayor’s Mansion main page

Leonard H. Becker, General Counsel, Executive Office of the Mayor, and
Robert J. Spagnoletti, Attorney General for the District of Columbia
Letters settling Freedom of Information request lawsuit on Mayor’s Mansion
April 26 and 29, 2005




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
Gary Imhoff
Phil Mendelson
Mark David Richards
Sandra Seegars


DCWatch Archives
Council Period 12
Council Period 13
Council Period 14

Election 1998
Election 2000
Election 2002

Election 2004
Election 2006

Government and People
Anacostia Waterfront Corporation
Boards and Com
Campaign Finance
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Management Officer
City Council
Control Board
Corporation Counsel
DC Agenda
Elections and Ethics
Fire Department
FOI Officers
Inspector General
Housing and Community Dev.
Human Services
Mayor's Office
Mental Health
Motor Vehicles
Neighborhood Action
National Capital Revitalization Corp.
Planning and Econ. Dev.
Planning, Office of
Police Department
Property Management
Public Advocate
Public Libraries
Public Schools
Public Service Commission
Public Works
Regional Mobility Panel
Sports and Entertainment Com.
Taxi Commission
Telephone Directory
University of DC
Water and Sewer Administration
Youth Rehabilitation Services
Zoning Commission

Issues in DC Politics

Budget issues
DC Flag
DC General, PBC
Gun issues
Health issues
Housing initiatives
Mayor’s mansion
Public Benefit Corporation
Regional Mobility
Reservation 13
Tax Rev Comm
Term limits repeal
Voting rights, statehood
Williams’s Fundraising Scandals


Appleseed Center
Cardozo Shaw Neigh.Assoc.
Committee of 100
Fed of Citizens Assocs
League of Women Voters
Parents United
Shaw Coalition



What Is DCWatch?

themail archives

Leonard H. Becker letter Robert J. Spagnoletti letter

Office of the General Counsel to the Mayor
The John A. Wilson Building's
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 327
Washington, DC 20004

April 26, 2005


Scott A. Hodes, Esq. 
Attorney for Howard Bray 
P.O. Box 42002 
Washington, D.C. 20015 

RE: Bray v. District of Columbia. Civil Action No. 03-8365

Dear Mr. Hodes:

I write in connection with Mr. Bray's request for records relating to the Casey Mansion and the civil litigation instituted on Mr. Bray's behalf pursuant to the District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act, D.C. Official Code § 2-531 et seq. (2001).

When Mr. Bray's FOIA request was received in January 2003, it was transmitted only to one office within the Executive Office of the Mayor ("EOM") -- the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development ("ODMPED"). A search was conducted within the ODMPED and the Office of Planning (the "OP") for records, as specified in Causton Toney's affidavit, dated June 1.5, 2004. We acknowledge that Mr. Bray's incoming request should have been forwarded to other units within the EOM besides the ODMPED. It should be noted that a relatively small number of documents related to the Casey Mansion had been created at the time and would have been deemed responsive had a broader search been instituted.

You have advised us that Mr. Bray has a signed receipt for a second FOIA request submitted in July 2003. Our repeated efforts to locate a copy of this second FOIA request have been unsuccessful.

In October 2003 and January 2004, the EOM received further FOIA requests from investigative journalists for documents relating to the Casey Mansion. In response to these requests, searches were conducted throughout the EOM, as specified in Lucy Pittman's June 16, 2004 and April 26, 2005 affidavits. The records located in response to the October 2003 and January 2004 requests and deemed not to be subject to exemptions under the FOIA were disclosed to the inquiring reporters who had filed the FOIA requests. Those records were located in relevant units of the EOM as well as in the OP. That latter office technically is not part of the EOM, but we forwarded the reporters' requests to OP on the understanding that that office was likely to have responsive documents. Many of the documents located in response to the October 2003 and January 2004 FOIA searches did not exist when Mr. Bray submitted his FOIA request in January 2003 and hence could not have been produced in response to that request, even if the number of offices searched had been expanded as it subsequently was in late 2003 and early 2004.

On behalf of the Mayor and the government of the District of Columbia, we acknowledge that the EOM should have conducted a broader search for responsive documents in response to Mr. Bray's initial FOIA request. We regret any inconvenience or delay that the oversight in the EOM has caused Mr. Bray. We acknowledge that Mr. Bray and his fellow community members devoted time and energy to the pursuit of public documentation and may have been impeded in presenting fully informed views in addressing the merits of the Casey Mansion issue.

You have recently asked us to conduct a renewed search for correspondence with the National Park Service related to the EOM. As appears in Ms. Pittman's April 26, 2005 affidavit, that search has revealed only documents that were previously disclosed in connection with the searches undertaken in response to the FOIA requests received from journalists in October 2003 and January 2004, as described above.

Leonard H. Becker 
General Counsel, EOM

cc: Causton Toney, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
Ellen McCarthy, Interim Director, Office of Planning

Back to top of page

Office of the Attorney General
Civil Litigation Division
General Litigation, Section II
441 Fourth Street, N. W., Sixth Floor South, Washington, D.C. 20001

April 29, 2005

Scott A. Hodes, Esq. 
P.O. Box 42002 
Washington, D.C. 20015

[Sent Via Electronic Mail: infoprivacylaw@yaboo.com]

RE: Settlement of Howard Bray v. District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 03-8365 

Dear Mr. Hodes:

In settlement of the above-captioned case, I have enclosed two copies of the following information:

A letter from Leonard H. Becker, General Counsel for the Executive Office of the Mayor; 

A Declaration from Lucy Pittman, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the General Counsel for the Executive Office of the Mayor; and

A documents production pursuant to the settlement agreement.

In addition, the District of Columbia has agreed to pay plaintiff's attorney's fees of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) in this matter. In that regard, I have included herewith a Release for plaintiff to sign and a tax form W-9.

Thank you and your client very much for your cooperation in this matter. 

Robert J. Spagnoletti
Attorney General for the District of Columbia
441 Fourth Street, N.W., Sixth Floor South
Washington, D.C. 20001

By: Urenthea McQuinn
Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia 
441 4th Street, N.W.
Sixth Floor South
Washington, D.C. 20001

cc: Leonard H. Becker 
Lucy Pittman 
Michael A. Stern

Back to top of page

Send mail with questions or comments to webmaster@dcwatch.com
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)