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Convention center agents appear to have violated law, D.C. officials say
April 13, 1998

The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance has issued a preliminary ruling that two agents of the Washington Convention Center Authority have apparently violated D.C. laws in the course of their activities on behalf of the proposed Mt. Vernon Square convention center.

According to the ruling, ANC Commissioner Rodney Foxworth appears to have violated the conflict of interest statute when he accepted compensation of $4,000 from the WCCA through a contractor, Mumin & Associates.

Foxworth, an elected official whose Single Member District borders the proposed site for the convention center, has been one of the most vocal supporters of the convention center project. He apparently accepted the $4,000 about the same time that he officially voted in favor of the project.

Ibrahim Mumin, represented by lawyer-lobbying David Wilmot, was also named in the ruling. Mumin "appears to have lobbied officials in the legislative branch" in violated of D.C. Code 1-1435(b)(3).

The Office of Campaign Finance said it will issue orders to Mr. Mumin and Mr. Foxworth "requesting them to appear at the Office of Campaign Finance for a hearing to show cause why they should not be found in violation of the Act and why fines should not be imposed. . . ."

"The WCCA has bought and paid for a few people in Shaw who support the proposed convention center," said Shaw Coalition co-founded Gastrel Riley. "Their motivation is now evident."

Members of the D.C. Council have begun to question financial and other activities of the Washington Convention Center Authority. The D.C. Auditor in July reported significant misuse of public funds by the WCCA. The Authority was recently criticized for spending taxpayer funds to subsidize private events for convention center backers like Charlene Drew Jarvis. WCCA has also bought Bulova watches and massage therapy for its employees with public money, as well as awarding contracts to former high-ranking Barry officials and friends.

The Office of Campaign Finance can be reached at (202) 939-8710. For more information, contact the Shaw Coalition (202) 789-7864.

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