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Threats, vandalism dog GOP council candidate who blew whistle
Tim Day, a GOP candidate for the D.C. Council who by his own admission has worked with federal authorities in the ongoing criminal probes of D.C. officials, has been persistently threatened and his home vandalized since he helped bring down former council member Harry Thomas Jr.
On Monday, after the latest incident — a key scratch to his BMW sport utility vehicle — he received a visit from Cmdr. Andrew Solberg of the Metropolitan Police Department's 6th District, who explained the department's policy on such matters and encouraged Mr. Day to "stay with it" but avoid confrontations with trespassers at the Bloomingdale home where Mr. Day lives with his 80-year-old father.
Cmdr. Solberg urged Mr. Day to continue reporting any troubling incidents to police, and he directed a patrol officer to drive through the neighborhood "whenever you can."
Standing outside in a light rain, Cmdr. Solberg listened patiently as Mr. Day's father, William Day Jr., looked on, and Mr. Day, agitated by his ordeal, detailed a litany of complaints, including what he described as callous treatment by a police officer.
"He's concerned that he's running for office and he thinks this stuff is politically motivated," Cmdr. Solberg told a different MPD officer he had summoned to take the latest report.
"It is politically motivated," Mr. Day interjected.
"You have to understand that we have to go on what we can establish," Cmdr. Solberg replied. "If it's politically motivated, then we want to be able to establish a pattern that shows you are being singled out.
"People do some crazy stuff. We'll do our best to help."
According to Mr. Day, an accountant who runs his own firm, he started receiving menacing telephone calls in January, after it came out that he had gone to the media and also cooperated with an FBI investigation of Mr. Thomas, who resigned and pleaded guilty to embezzlement Jan. 5.
That same month, Mr. Day said, he was confronted outside his detached, two-story home on Seventh Street Northeast by a group of Thomas supporters "who made it clear they wanted to kill me." Later he found that someone had littered his front lawn with trash and cigarette butts.
Since then, his campaign yard signs have been stolen multiple times, his house has been egged and his car has been vandalized repeatedly, he said. In an email over the weekend, Mr. Day told Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Assistant Chief Diane Groomes that on April 3 someone tore bumper stickers for his campaign and the Human Rights Campaign off his SUV and, according to his email, "wrote f#% ing republican in shoe polish." (Mr. Day made clear that the shoe-polish expletive was spelled out.)
In reply emails reviewed by The Washington Times, the chief and assistant chief expressed concern and assured Mr. Day that Cmdr. Solberg and a patrol officer would "reach out to you regarding the plan of action in your case."
Among Mr. Day's complaints to Cmdr. Solberg on Monday was that multiple incidents were logged in as one, and that after he recently reported his car being keyed — again — a patrol officer asked, "What are you going to do?"
Cmdr. Solberg explained that property damage, unless there is evidence of an intent to destroy property, does not get logged in as a criminal complaint, and that after a complaint is logged in, additional reports of a similar nature would be handled as "supplemental reports."
He added that missing yard signs would count as a report of theft. "Yeah, well let 'em try to steal that one," Mr. Day replied, gesturing toward an oversized sign he has placed in the center of his front yard.
"We'll make a report and document what happens," Cmdr. Solberg assured him. "It's probably purposeful [with the car], but right now we can't establish that."
Cmdr. Solberg also told Mr. Day to expect a visit from the patrol officer who had offended him and encouraged him to develop a relationship with the officer.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jeffrey Anderson is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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