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ANC commissioner loses voter registration, seat

(Published February 24, 2003)



Staff Writer

Elections officials have revoked the voter registration of a longtime Ward 5 ANC commissioner, who resigned his seat after residents complained that he had sought and won re-election last November despite having moved to Ward 4 in 2001.

Dareck D. Parks, who served as vice chairman of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5A last year, declined to contest the complaint filed against him by eight residents of the single-member district in Michigan Park that he represented for 10 years, 5A-05.

Parks, who has an unlisted telephone number, could not be reached for comment. There was no answer at a telephone number for him that was included in documents obtained from the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.

In a Jan. 29 letter to Registrar of Voters Kathryn A. Fairley, Parks said that he hopes “the same levels of energy, time, and money that they have so vigorously put into their complaint will now be conspicuously exerted [by the residents who filed the complaint against him] to the upkeep and betterment of the 5A05 neighborhoods.”

The complaint was filed last Nov. 13, eight days after Parks won re-election, by Steven C. Lowe, Perry E. Queen, Anna E. Gatling, Lavinia M. Wohlfarth, Andrea P. Wade, Christine M. Scott, Vernon I. Peterson and Clifton A. Roberson.

Kenneth McGhie, general counsel to the elections board, told The Common Denominator that referral of the case to the U.S. attorney for possible criminal prosecution had not yet been considered by the Board of Elections and Ethics, which meets on March 5.

“There’s nothing contemplated at this time,” McGhie said.

D.C. law requires that ANC commissioners be registered voters in the single-member district they are elected to represent.

The complaint filed against Parks challenged his status as a registered voter, alleging that he and his wife had moved from their Sixth Place NE home in Ward 5 to a custom-built home on Alaska Avenue NW in Ward 4 in September 2001. Both Parks and his wife, Iris Joann Parks, appeared on the District’s voter registration rolls as Ward 5 voters residing at the Sixth Place NE address.

The complaint cited a housewarming party that Parks and his wife held for friends at their new Alaska Avenue NW home and a financing agreement for the home that requires the couple to live there as evidence that Parks no longer lives at his former Ward 5 address.

Parks defeated another candidate, Cary Clennon, last Nov. 5 by 14 votes to win re-election.

His ANC 5A-05 seat was declared vacant by the registrar of voters in early February. Fairley said petitions would become available for a 21-day period, beginning Feb. 24, for candidates seeking to fill the vacancy through appointment or election. An election will be held to fill the seat only if more than one candidate qualifies, Fairley said.


Copyright 2003, The Common Denominator