Nickles sues critic of his boss

Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 12, 2010, 1:27pm


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - District of Columbia Attorney General Peter Nickles on Wednesday sued the owners of an office building, alleging they tried to charge more than $1 million of expenses back to the city.

According to The Washington Post, among the owners was "a political nemesis" of Mayor Adrian Fenty, Nickles' boss.

Nickles announced in September he plans to resign this year. He announced his resignation following Fenty's loss in the Democratic primary election for mayor.

Nickles said he would not work for D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray.

Fenty had nominated Nickles to the attorney general post in 2008 after Linda Singer resigned.

Gray, in June, called for the removal of Nickles, saying he betrayed the public's trust. He claimed Nickles "inappropriately politicized his role and facilitated the Mayor's cronyism."

In September, Nickles said he would stick around to make sure the transition to Gray's administration was smooth and benefits the city. Then, he said, he would announce his resignation effective at the end of the year.

Nickles is suing R. Donahue Peebles, the principal owner of the Washington office space and a known Fenty critic. According to the Post, Peebles even considered running for the mayor's office.

The lawsuit came about after the city's real estate department started to scrutinize the government's leases of private office space.

More than 30 leases have been reviewed by a New York consulting firm in just over a year. Many showed evidence of improper expenses and were settled, the Post reported.

However, Peebles' company is the only one to be sued.

The attorney general's suit seeks repayment of more than $600,000 and damages.

Peebles, in a statement to the Post, disputed much of the lawsuit and accused Nickles of discarding a previously negotiated settlement to "pursue a political vendetta."

In response, Nickles told the newspaper he rejected that settlement because it was "unsatisfactory" and "not... in the public's interest."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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