Gray Election Party at Club That Owes D.C. Hundreds Thousands

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Presumptive Mayor Vincent Gray is getting heat for planning a campaign party at controversial nightclub, Love.

    The presumptive next mayor of D.C. is planning to hold his victory party in a nightclub that owes the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, NBC Washington has learned.

    Vincent Gray's campaign reserved Love Nightclub in northeast Washington, NBC Washington's Tom Sherwood reported. Marc Barnes and his wife, Anne, who own the club, offered the lowest price for an election night party, according to the Gray campaign. But the couple owes D.C. almost $900,000 in personal and business taxes.

    D.C. Tax Office documents show that the Barnes's business owes more than $630,000 in unpaid sales and use taxes at the club. Documents show the couple owes $233,000 in personal taxes.

    The couple filed for bankruptcy during the summer.

    Several close associates of the Gray campaign privately worry that the financially troubled nightclub is the wrong image for Gray, who is trying to rally city ministers, community groups and business leaders to his leadership after Tuesday's elections, Sherwood reported.

    According to a statement released by the Gray campaign, the presumptive mayor-elect wasn't aware of the tax debt but expects to have a big party at Love Tuesday night.

    In October, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration approved the transfer of the venue's liquor license to local real estate investor Dean Smothers is taking over Love.