IRS Agents Seize Records at Park Southern Apartments

Agents from the criminal division of the Internal Revenue Service have seized boxes of management documents from the troubled Park Southern apartment complex in Southeast Washington, News4 has learned.

Agents entered the property on Southern Avenue SE Aug. 12. The agents for the criminal division seized records dating back to 2003 -- more than 10 years of records.

Problems at Park Southern, home to about 700 low-income and no-income tenants, have become an issue in the D.C. mayor’s race.

Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration last April fired the nonprofit management team that had been running the complex. Housing officials and lawyers for the city cited mismanagement, missing funds, overdue mortgage payments amounting to millions of dollars, rundown facilities, and rat and roach infestations as some of the reasons.

The displaced managers had been and are strong supporters of Democratic mayoral nominee Muriel Bowser.

Bowser and the Gray administration clashed over Bowser’s efforts to hold meetings with the displaced managers and Gray officials. The Gray administration instead asked Bowser, chairman of the council housing committee, to hold a public hearing on the issue. No hearing has been held. Bowser did call for an inspector general probe of the dispute after a series of articles published in The Washington Post.

Independent candidate for mayor David Catania has charged that Bowser was more interested in protecting the displaced managers than the tenants in the building that 360 units. Bowser’s campaign has accused Catania of trying to politicize the dispute, saying “Mr. Catania’s latest stunt reeks of desperation…”

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