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Vote in D.C.’s ‘LGBTQ precincts’ divided between Bowser, White

Bonds loses in 10 of 13 precincts with high concentration of queer voters

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Mayor Bowser won her primary race over Robert White, taking seven of the 13 precincts with high concentrations of LGBTQ voters. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Voters in 13 of the city’s 144 electoral precincts that LGBTQ activists have long said include a high concentration of LGBTQ residents and voters divided their vote between D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Councilmember Robert White, her lead rival, in the city’s June 21 Democratic primary.

In the D.C. Board of Elections final but unofficial vote tally for the primary, which it released on July 3, Bowser beat Robert White (D-At-Large) in seven of the 13 so-called LGBTQ precincts. Robert White won in six of the precincts. The two mayoral candidates won or lost in the 13 precincts mostly by a close margin of less than 5 percent.

The other two Democratic mayoral candidates, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White and former attorney and former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner James Butler, received less than 10 percent of the vote in each of the 13 precincts in question.

The precincts include the neighborhoods of Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Shaw, Capitol Hill, Anacostia, and the Southwest Waterfront. 

In the race for the D.C. Council Chair, incumbent Phil Mendelson and his only Democratic opponent, attorney and community activist Erin Palmer, each won six of the 13 LGBTQ precincts. The two finished in a tie vote in Precinct 90, which is part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, with each receiving 294 votes or 49.75 percent of the vote in that precinct, according to the Board of Elections final returns.

In the At-Large Council race, incumbent Councilmember Anita Bonds (D-At-Large), a longtime supporter of the LGBTQ community, did not fare as well as Bowser and Mendelson in the LGBTQ precincts. Bonds won in just three of the 13 precincts – those in Logan Circle, Shaw, and Anacostia.

Among her three opponents in the four-candidate race in the primary, attorney Nate Fleming won six of the precincts and ANC Commissioner Lisa Gore won in four of the LGBTQ precincts.

The fourth candidate running for the at-large seat, former DC Council staffer and former Howard University community relations official Dexter Williams, received less than 10 percent of the vote in each of the 13 precincts and lost in all of them.

The candidates challenging Bonds for the at-large Council seat – as well as all the Democratic candidates running for mayor and the Council Chair seat – expressed strong support for LGBTQ rights. Bonds’s poor showing in the LGBTQ precincts suggests that at least some LGBTQ voters may have voted for Fleming and Gore instead of Bonds based on other issues.

Bonds won the primary with 35.85 percent of the vote, with Gore receiving 28.08 percent of the vote and Fleming receiving 27.73 percent, according to the Board of Elections final vote count.

In the race for mayor, Bowser won the primary with 49.01 percent of the citywide vote. Robert White received 40.5 percent, Trayon White received 8.79 percent, and Butler received 1.38 percent.

 In the Council chair race, Mendelson, a longtime LGBTQ rights supporter, won the citywide vote with 53.16 percent compared to challenger Palmer, who received 46.44 percent.

Four of the 13 precincts considered to have a high concentration of LGBTQ residents and voters are in Ward 1. They include Precincts 24 and 25 in Adams Morgan and Precincts 23 and 36 in Columbia Heights.

The final vote count for those four precincts show that incumbent Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1) beat her gay opponent in the Ward 1 race, former D.C. police officer Salah Czapary, in each of the four precincts. Nadeau won in three of the four precincts by a margin greater than 10 percent of the vote.

In a development that surprised some in the LGBTQ community, Capital Stonewall Democrats, the city’s largest local LGBTQ political organization, endorsed Nadeau over Czapary in the Ward 1 Council race. Czapary received the endorsement of the national LGBTQ Victory Fund as well as from the Washington Post and former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams.

Activists following the race have said LGBTQ voters who backed Nadeau were clearly basing their vote on issues other than LGBTQ rights, for which Nadeau and a third candidate in the race, community activist Sabel Harris, have expressed support.

Nadeau won the Ward 1 primary with 48.46 percent of the vote. Czapary received 30.94 percent, with Harris receiving 20.36 percent.

In the Ward 5 D.C. Council contest, gay D.C. Board of Education member Zachary Parker won the primary in a seven-candidate race, placing him in a strong position to win the November general election and become the first openly gay member of the D.C. Council since 2015. The Blade couldn’t immediately identify precincts in Ward 5 that may have significant numbers of LGBTQ voters.

In the mayor’s race, Bowser and Robert White each won and lost one of the two LGBTQ precincts in Dupont Circle and Logan Circle by close margins. Bowser beat Robert White in Dupont Circle Precinct 14 by a margin of 50.26 percent to 45.42 percent. But Robert White won in the adjacent Dupont Circle Precinct 15 by a margin of 49.0 percent to 48.17 percent over Bowser.

The mayor won the Logan Circle Precinct 16 by a vote of 54.29 percent compared to Robert White, who received 41.12 percent. In the Logan Circle Precinct 17, Robert White beat Bowser by a margin of 48.29 percent to 46.33 percent.

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Citywide Vote Count

Board of Elections

DC MAYOR

James Butler                        1,753            1.38%

Muriel Bowser                   62,391           49.01%

Trayon White                     11,193             8.79%

Robert White                     51,557            40.5%

Write-In                                    406             0.32%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Precinct Vote Count

Precincts with High Concentration of LGBTQ voters

Board of Elections

DC MAYOR

Precinct 14 – Dupont Circle

James Butler              21                2.16%

*Muriel Bowser       488             50.26%

Trayon White             16              1.65%

Robert White           441            45.42%

Write-In                        5               0.51%

Precinct 15 – Dupont Circle

James Butler                16               1.33%

Muriel Bowser           579            48.17%                

Trayon White               17               1.41%

*Robert White           589               49.0%

Write-In                          2               0.17%

Precinct 16 – Logan Circle

James Butler                 21                1.55%

*Muriel Bowser            734             54.29%

Trayon White               34                2.51%

Robert White               556             41.12%

Write-In                            7               0.23%

Precinct 17 – Logan Circle

James Butler                 32                 2.24%

Muriel Bowser             663              46.33%

Trayon White                 43                 3.0%

*Robert White             691             48.29%

Write-In                              2               0.14%

Precinct 24 – Adams Morgan

James Butler                     14                    1.2%

Muriel Bowser                 541               46.48%

Trayon White                       9                  0.77%

*Robert White                   594                51.03%

Write-In                                6                  0.52%

Precinct 25 – Adams Morgan

James Butler                      20                       1.1%

Muriel Bowser                  883                 48.49%

Trayon White                      19                   1.94%

*Robert White                    895                 49.15%

Write-In                                  4                   0.23%

Precinct 23 – Columbia Heights          

James Butler                       20                       1.87%

Muriel Bowser                  455                      42.6%

Trayon White                      49                       4.59% 

*Robert White                  541                   50.66% 

Write-In                                 3                        0.58%

Precinct 36 – Columbia Heights

James Butler                     18                         1.32%

Muriel Bowser                 508                     37.27%

Trayon White                   102                       7.48%

*Robert White                 731                     53.63%

Write-In                                5                        0.39%

Precinct 129 – Shaw

James Butler                         43                        1.67%

*Muriel Bowser              1,300                       50.37%                

Trayon White                     148                          5.73%

Robert White                  1,081                       41.88%

Write-In                                   9                          0.35%

Precinct 89 – Capitol Hill

James Butler                       12                              0.98%

*Muriel Bowser               677                            55.22%

Trayon White                      14                             1.14%

Robert White                    521                             42.5%

Write-In                                 2                              0.16%

Precinct 90 – Capitol Hill

James Butler                       7                                  1.14%

*Muriel Bowser               349                               56.75%

Trayon White                     11                                 1.79%

Robert White                   246                                 40.0%

Write-In                                3                                  0.51%

Precinct 127 – Southwest Waterfront

James Butler                        13                                0.84%

*Muriel Bowser                778                             50.23%

Trayon White                     128                               8.26%

Robert White                     628                             40.54%

Write-In                                  2                                0.13%

Precinct 112 – Anacostia

James Butler                      18                                       3.59%

*Muriel Bowser              277                                     45.35%

Trayon White                   107                                    21.36%

Robert White                   148                                    29.54%

Write-In                                 1                                        0.2%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Citywide Vote Count

Board of Elections

DC COUNCIL CHAIR

Erin Palmer                                   56,671                            46.44%

*Phil Mendelson                          64,877                            53.16%

Write-In                                               406                              0.32%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Precinct Vote Count

Precincts With High Concentration of LGBTQ Voters

Board of Elections

DC COUNCIL CHAIR

Precinct 14 – Dupont Circle

*Erin Palmer                                 492                             52.34%

Phil Mendelson                            446                             47.45%

Write-In                                             2                                0.21%

Precinct 15 – Dupont Circle

*Erin Palmer                               627                              53.5%

Phil Mendelson                          543                            46.33%

Write-In                                           2                               0.17%

Precinct 16 – Logan Circle

Erin Palmer                                    580                              44.68%

*Phil Mendelson                           715                              55.08%

Write-In                                              3                                 0.23%

Precinct 17 – Logan Circle

*Erin Palmer                                  739                               54.02%

Phil Mendelson                             628                               45.91%

Write-In                                               1                                 0.07%

Precinct 24 – Adams Morgan        

*Erin Palmer                                 593                                  53.09%

Phil Mendelson                            522                                  46.73%

Write-In                                             2                                     0.18%

Precinct 25 – Adams Morgan

Erin Palmer                                  866                                   48.93%

*Phil Mendelson                        900                                   50.85%

Write-In                                            4                                      0.23%

Precinct 23 – Columbia Heights

*Erin Palmer                              546                                    53.46%

Phil Mendelson                         474                                      46.2%

Write-In                                          6                                       0.58%

Precinct 36 – Columbia Heights

*Erin Palmer                             746                                        58.37%

Phil Mendelson                        527                                        41.24%

Write-In                                         5                                           0.39%

Precinct 129 – Shaw

Erin Palmer                              1,144                                     46.62%

*Phil Mendelson                    1,299                                     52.93%

Write-In                                          11                                       0.45%

Precinct 89 – Capitol Hill

Erin Palmer                              556                                         46.8%

*Phil Mendelson                    629                                       52.95%

Write-In                                        3                                         0.25%

Precinct 90 – Capitol Hill

Erin Palmer                             294                                        49.75%

Phil Mendelson                      294                                        49.75%

Write-In                                       3                                           0.51%

Precinct 127 – Southwest Waterfront

Erin Palmer                            674                                         45.66%

*Phil Mendelson                  796                                         53.93%

Write-In                                      6                                            0.41%

Precinct 112 – Anacostia

Erin Palmer                            168                                         35.52%

*Phil Mendelson                  303                                         64.06%

Write-In                                      2                                            0.42%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Citywide Vote Count

Board of Elections

DC COUNCIL AT-LARGE

Lisa Gore                                      33,225                     28.08%

Nate Fleming                               32,815                     27.73%

*Anita Bonds                               42,421                     35.85%

Dexter Williams                            9,356                        7.91%

Write-In                                             504                        0.43%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Precinct Vote Count

Precincts With High Concentration of LGBTQ Voters

Board of Elections

DC COUNCIL AT-Large

Precinct 14 – Dupont Circle

Lisa Gore                                     309                             34.14%

*Nate Fleming                            311                             34.36%

Anita Bonds                                207                              22.87%

Dexter Williams                           72                                7.96%

Write-In                                          6                                 0.21%

Precinct 15 – Dupont Circle

*Lisa Gore                                  421                               38.34%

Nate Fleming                             355                               32.33%

Anita Bond                                 222                               20.22%

Dexter Williams                          97                                 8.83%

Precinct 16 – Logan Circle

Lisa Gore                                    371                               29.87%

*Nate Fleming                          437                               35.19%

Anita Bonds                               350                                28.18%

Dexter Williams                          82                                   6.6%

Write-In                                         2                                    0.16%

Precinct 17 – Logan Circle

*Lisa Gore                                413                                 30.87%

Nate Fleming                            401                                 29. 97%

Anita Bonds                              420                                 31.39%

Dexter Williams                       101                                    7.55%

Write-In                                         3                                     0.22$

Precinct 24 – Adams Morgan

*Lisa Gore                                384                                     36.4%

Nate Fleming                           330                                     31.28%

Anita Bonds                             261                                     24.74%

Dexter Williams                        80                                        7.58%

Write-In                                       0                                              0%

Precinct 25 – Adams Morgan

Lisa Gore                                 571                                        34.19%

*Nate Fleming                       595                                         35.63%

Anita Bonds                           362                                          21.68%

Dexter Williams                    132                                            7.9%

Write-In                                    10                                            0.6%

Precinct 23 – Columbia Heights

*Lisa Gore                            336                                            34.46%

Nate Fleming                       273                                            28.0%

Anita Bonds                         278                                            28.51%

Dexter Williams                    85                                              8.72%

Write-In                                   3                                               0.31%

Precinct 36 – Columbia Heights

*Lisa Gore                             418                                             33.76%

Nate Fleming                      318                                             25.69%

Anita Bonds                        386                                             31.18%

Dexter Williams                 112                                               9.05%

Write-In                                   4                                               0.32%

Precinct 129 – Shaw

Lisa Gore                            662                                            28.03%

Nate Fleming                     695                                            29.42%

*Anita Bonds                     800                                            33.87%

Dexter Williams                195                                              8.26%

Write-In                               10                                               0.42%

Precinct 89 – Capitol Hill

Lisa Gore                          336                                               29.87%

*Nate Fleming                460                                               40.89%

Anita Bonds                     254                                               22.58%

Dexter Williams                68                                                  6.04%

Write-In                               7                                                   0.62%

Precinct 90 – Capitol Hill

Lisa Gore                        164                                                 29.55%

*Nate Fleming              206                                                 37.12%

Anita Bonds                   153                                                 27.57%

Dexter Williams              30                                                   5.41%

Write-In                             2                                                    0.36%

Precinct 127 – Southwest Waterfront

Lisa Gore                      323                                                  22.62%

Nate Fleming               394                                                  27.59%

*Anita Bonds               594                                                    41.6%

Dexter Williams          115                                                    8.05%

Write-In                            2                                                    0.14%

Precinct 112 – Anacostia

Lisa Gore                      74                                                     15.95%

Nate Fleming              103                                                     22.2%

*Anita Bonds              249                                                    53.66%

Dexter Williams            37                                                     7.97%

Write-In                           1                                                      0.22%

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District of Columbia

Matthew Shepard portrait dedicated at National Cathedral

Gay Wyoming student killed in 1998 hate crime honored in daylong ceremony

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Judy and Dennis Shepard stand in front of a portrait of their son, Matthew. Matthew Shepard was honored at a ceremony on Dec. 1, at Washington National Cathedral. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

Matthew Shepard, the gay University of Wyoming student who was murdered in a 1998 anti-gay hate crime while tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyo., was to be honored at a ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Washington National Cathedral dedicating a newly commissioned portrait of Shepard.

Officials at the cathedral said the portrait by artist Kelly Latimore and commissioned by LGBTQ members of the Cathedral staff, is the only artistic image of Matthew Shepard created in collaboration with Shepard’s parents, Dennis and Judy Shepard, who were present during the ceremony.

Matthew Shepard’s ashes were interred at the Washington National Cathedral in 2018, 20 years after his death. The Cathedral announced in a statement this week that the Dec. 1 dedication of the Shepard portrait would also take place on what would have been Shepard’s 46th birthday.

A Thanksgiving and Celebration of Matthew Shepard service was held on October 26, 2018 at the Washington National Cathedral. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

“The horrific murders at Club Q in Colorado Springs are a tragic reminder that our LGBTQ friends and family continue to be targeted for who they love, and Matthew Shepard’s legacy reminds us of the urgency to confront bigotry and embrace people of all backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations,” said The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral, in a statement.

Events surrounding the portrait dedication began with a 7 a.m. online prayer service “to celebrate and recall Matthew Shepard’s life,” the statement released by the Cathedral says. The service was led by Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay priest to be consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church.

The Cathedral next hosted a preview of the portrait for the news media at 10:30 a.m., where Dennis and Judy Shepard talked about the portrait and their son’s life and the impact his death had on the nation’s understanding of hate crimes.

“It’s amazing how similar and what a great job that Kelly [Latimore] has done to make it look like Matt and showing the essence of Matt,” Dennis Shepard told the Washington Blade while viewing the portrait in the Cathedral’s St. Joseph’s Chapel, where the portrait was on display.

Artist Latimore, who also spoke to reporters during the morning briefing at the chapel, said he was moved in his discussions with Judy and Dennis Shepard while getting ready to begin work on the painting by copies of dozens of letters they sent him that had been sent to the Shepards by people across the country after their son’s death.

Latimore included written excerpts from dozens of those letters as the background to his portrait of Matthew Shepard, which can be seen and read when standing close to the portrait.

Artist Kelly Latimore (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

“Matthew will not be forgotten,” an excerpt from one of the letters on the portrait says.
Dennis and Judy Shepard created the Matthew Shepard Foundation shortly after Matthew’s death, which has been credited with playing a lead role in advocating for the passage by Congress in 2009 of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The measure was the first federal hate crime statute that expanded the coverage of the federal hate crimes law to include a victim’s sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class.

President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act on Oct. 22, 2009. (Washington Blade archive photo by Michael Key)

The Cathedral was to open its St. Joseph’s Chapel from 2-5 p.m. on Thursday to visitors where the Matthew Shepard portrait was on display. Dennis and Judy Shepard were scheduled to be present to greet visitors.

According to the statement released by the Cathedral, later in the evening at 7 p.m., the portrait was to be officially dedicated in a private service in the Cathedral’s crypt near the site where Shepard’s ashes were interred.

“A longtime supporter of the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the life of the church, the Cathedral considers LGBTQ equality one of the great civil rights issues of the 21st century,” the statement released by the Cathedral says.

One of the two men charged with Matthew Shepard’s murder, Russell Henderson, pleaded guilty to a murder charge in exchange for an agreement by prosecutors not to seek a death sentence. He was sentenced to life in prison.

The other man charged in the murder, Aaron McKinney, pleaded not guilty and went to trial, where he was convicted of murder by a jury. In a dramatic statement before the judge at the conclusion of the trial, Dennis Shepard announced and he and his wife had asked prosecutors and the judge to spare McKinney from being sentenced to death, something he said McKinney did not do while fatally striking his son in the head multiple times with the barrel of a gun after the two men tied him to a fence post in a remote field outside Laramie.

The judge sentenced McKinney to two consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole.

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District of Columbia

Three more LGBTQ ANC candidates declared winners

At least 38 LGBTQ hopefuls elected; outcome for two more uncertain

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There will be a special election to fill the seat of Kent Boese, who withdrew his candidacy but received the most votes.

The number of known LGBTQ candidates who won election to Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats rose from 35 to 38 as the D.C. Board of Elections this week released its final, certified vote count for the Nov. 8 D.C. election.

The 38 winners were among 44 known LGBTQ candidates who ran for ANC seats this year. One of the candidates who emerged as a winner, incumbent James Tandaric of ANC 3F05 in the city’s Van Ness neighborhood, was trailing opponent Andrew Koval by just eight votes when the early vote count was released in the days following the election.

The final vote count that emerged this week shows Tandaric beat Koval by a vote of 258 to 250.

When the early vote count was released in the week after the election, the outcome of four LGBTQ ANC write-in candidates along with all write-in candidates could not be determined until the Board of Elections received a required affidavit of candidacy from the write-in candidates, which was due by Nov. 15.

When the final write-in candidate results were released earlier this week along with the names of the write-in candidates, two of the four LGBTQ write-in candidates emerged as winners, both from the Logan Circle ANC. The two are Christopher Dyer of ANC 2F05 and Matt Fouracre of ANC 2F06.

Another one of the LGBTQ write-in candidates, Charles Panfil of ANC 6E02 in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood, finished in a tie with another write-in candidate. A spokesperson for the Board of Elections said tie votes in ANC elections are resolved by the drawing of lots. The spokesperson, Nicholas Jacobs, said he couldn’t immediately say when a drawing of the lot would take place.

The race for the fourth LGBTQ write-in candidate, Bradley Gallagher of ANC 1E01 in the city’s Park View neighborhood, could not be determined and a special election for that seat will have to be held, according to the Board of Election. The reason, the elections board said, is longtime gay ANC member Kent Boese, who withdrew his candidacy after it was too late to remove his name from the ballot, received the most votes. “As such, there is no winner for this contest” under the city’s election law, the Board of Elections said.

Elections board spokesperson Jacobs said a special election for that ANC seat will be called, with Gallagher and others who obtain the required number of ballot petition signatures will be allowed to run in the special election.

Boese withdrew his candidacy after he was nominated and subsequently approved by the D.C. Council to become director of the D.C. Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.

If Gallagher were to win in the special election and should Panfil win the drawing of the lot following the tie vote in his race, the total number of known LGBTQ candidates elected to ANC seats would rise to 40, a record number compared to past ANC elections.

There were 33 known LGBTQ ANC candidates who won election in 2020, which was the first year the Washington Blade kept track of the known LGBTQ ANC candidates who ran and won.

A list of the 35 winning LGBTQ ANC candidates known during the week following the Nov. 8 election can be seen here.

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District of Columbia

Ruby Corado withdrew $400,000 of Casa Ruby funds: D.C. att’y gen’l

Complaint says she transferred money to banks in El Salvador

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Ruby Corado faces new allegations after her organization collapsed earlier this year. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Office of the D.C. Attorney General on Monday filed an amended civil complaint in D.C. Superior Court against Casa Ruby and its founder and former executive director Ruby Corado that includes new allegations, including claims that Corado withdrew more than $400,000 of Casa Ruby funds for unauthorized use in El Salvador. 

The 25-page amended complaint adds multiple new allegations to the Attorney General office’s original complaint against Casa Ruby filed on July 29. That complaint, among other things, charged the nonprofit LGBTQ community services organization and Corado with violating the D.C. Nonprofit Corporations Act in connection with its financial dealings.

The amended complaint also follows the approval by D.C. Superior Court Judge Danya Dayson of a request in August by the Attorney General’s office to place Casa Ruby under receivership and to appoint the Wanda Alston Foundation as the receiver. The D.C.-based Alston Foundation provides housing services for homeless LGBTQ youth.

On Oct. 28, the Alston Foundation released its Receiver’s Second Interim Report on its findings related to Casa Ruby’s finances. The report points to some of the same unexplained and unauthorized expenditures and transfers of Casa Ruby’s funds by Corado that are included in the AG office’s amended complaint.

The Alston Foundation had been scheduled to release its Receiver’s Third Interim Report also on Monday, Nov. 28. But Alston Foundation Executive Director June Crenshaw told the Washington Blade the foundation requested an extension of that deadline to give it a chance to review the new allegations in the AG office’s amended complaint.

Among other things, the AG office’s amended complaint adds three new defendants to what legal observers say is the equivalent of a lawsuit by the D.C. government against Corado and Casa Ruby. The new defendants named in the complaint are limited liability companies created and controlled by Corado to purportedly perform services in support of Casa Ruby.

They include a new version of Casa Ruby called Casa Ruby LLC doing business as Moxie Health; Pneuma Behavioral Health LLC; and Tigloballogistics LLC doing business as Casa Ruby Pharmacy.

The amended complaint notes that Corado, who claimed the new companies, especially the pharmacy, were part of Casa Ruby’s mission, never received approval to create the companies from the Casa Ruby board of directors, which the AG’s office has said rarely met and failed to provide any oversight of Corado’s actions.

According to the amended complaint, Corado transferred large sums of money from the original Casa Ruby to these companies and at some point, transferred funds from the new companies to her own personal bank account.

Both the earlier complaint filed in July and the amended complaint allege that Corado transferred as much as $500,000 of Casa Ruby’s funds to create what she said was a new Casa Ruby in El Salvador approved by the Casa Ruby board. But the earlier and amended complaints allege that the board never authorized the El Salvador operation.

Between April 2021 and September 2022, the amended complaint says, Corado transferred over $400,000 from two Casa Ruby related accounts “to accounts she held under her birth name in two El Salvador banks.” It says the Casa Ruby board “never authorized any of these transfers.”

In addition to the financial related allegations, the amended complaint charges Casa Ruby and Corado with violating D.C.’s Wage Payment and Collection Law and the D.C. Minimum Wage Revision Act by failing to pay Casa Ruby employees all the wages they earned for their work several months before Casa Ruby closed its operations in July 2022.

“At various times between July 2021 and July 2022, while Corado was freely supplementing her $260,000 salary with additional funds drawn from Casa Ruby’s bank accounts, many of Casa Ruby’s employees were paid only $15.00 per hour, less than the minimum wage in the District of Columbia as of July 1, 2021,” the amended complaint says. “None of these employees received the full wages they earned,” it says.

One of the former employees told the Washington Blade most of the remaining employees during Casa Ruby’s final months before its shutdown were paid late or not paid at all. Under the two labor related laws the amended complaint has charged Casa Ruby and Corado with violating, an employer could be required to pay the employees any lost or missing wages.

But the Receiver’s Second Interim Report filed in October by the Alston Foundation says among other improper financial dealings, Casa Ruby failed to pay the U.S. Internal Revenue Service payroll taxes withheld from its employees. The AG office’s amended complaint says that as of June of this year, Casa Ruby owed the IRS $127,435 in employment taxes, not including interest and penalties.

The receiver’s report points out that under federal law, employers that owe back taxes to the IRS must pay those claims first. “Thus, after all outstanding payroll taxes have been paid off, there is little chance that there will be anything left for any other debts or obligations like past rent or wages,” the report says.

The amended complaint filed by the AG’s office says a copy of the amended complaint was sent to Corado through an email address, which has been the only known way of reaching Corado. Former Casa Ruby employees have said she had been spending most of her time over the past year or longer in El Salvador. The complaint says that as of October, Corado still had not retained an attorney to represent her and was representing herself in a process known as pro se representation.

The Blade couldn’t immediately reach Corado for comment on the amended complaint through the same email address.

During a virtual court hearing in September, Corado denied any improper or illegal financial practices and blamed the D.C. government for Casa Ruby’s collapse, saying city agencies cut off funding for Casa Ruby without a legitimate reason. However, the D.C. Department of Human Services, which provided much of Casa Ruby’s funding through grants, has said the funding was stopped after Casa Ruby failed to submit financial reports required for all grant recipients that account for how the grant money is spent.

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