So, we are a little late in posting this, and many readers have probably already seen this news in other places, but better late than never. Regular Bridge readers will recall that in April we reported that Superior Judge Michael O’Keefe has announced his final ruling in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case that pitted many neighbors against ANC 5B. The judge ruled against ANC5B and at the time it looked like the case would cost tax payers about $60,000. Here is a link to the complete Court Order. Now, the case has finally been settled and the result is that taxpayers are on the hook to pay $58,400 to cover the costs associated with defending Commissioner Steptoe’s actions, which included deleting a recording that was the subject of a FOIA request. Here is outgoing ANC 5B04 Commissioner Steptoe’s email announcement of the settlement:
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 20:09
To: Steptoe, Carolyn C.(ANC 5B04)
Cc: Steptoe, Carolyn C.(ANC 5B04)
Subject: [WardFive] Status Update: Crimmins v. DC
Dear Community —
Followup information re the FOIA lawsuit case (Conor Crimmins v. District of Columbia ), involving ANC 5B, our ANC 5B rec’d update information today that the District has decided to settle the Crimmins case for $57,000, plus the $1,400.00 sanctions awarded against ANC 5B by Judge O’Keefe, for a total of $58,400.
ANC 5B was notified that this settlement will be paid out of the Settlement and Judgments Fund and that, in exchange, each party would withdraw its appeal. ANC 5B was also told that OAG and OSG are in agreement regarding settling this case.
Very kind regards,
Commissioner Carolyn C. Steptoe
Single Member District 5B04
Vice Chairperson, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5B
GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
(202) 321-3860/ANC cell
(pardon typos, etc.)
The story was also covered in the Washington City Paper.