Last Thursday, ANC 1B (southern part of Columbia Heights, LeDroit Park, Pleasant Plains, northern part of Shaw, much of U Street) voted to appoint a “special commitee” of four commissioners to investigate allegations of wrongdoing against ANC Alan Kensek.
The other ANC commissioners allege that Kensek violated the ANC’s Code of Coduct, DC Gov’t ethics standards, and potentially other laws by (language taken from motion):
- “using an official position for priority access to establishments on U St and 14[th] St area”
- “refusing to leave when ask or at closing to leave the premises given their Commissioner status”
- being “banned from local bars and taverns due to behavior”
- “inflammatory and demeaning emails to other commissioners, continued after being asked to stop”
- “disruptive behavior at meetings and appearing intoxicated, continued after being asked to stop”
- “verbal and digital attacks on Commissioners, continued after being asked to stop”
- “use of government assets for campaigning, continued after being asked to stop.”
A nightlife industry source corroborated to me at least some of the allegations with respect to U Street area bars.
The special commitee, in accordance with DC Attorney General’s previous guidance on this issue, will review the allegations and provide a report to Kenseck, who will then have 5 days to provide his own response; the report and response will goto the full ANC with a recommendation prior to the next ANC meeting scheduled for November 3rd.
The most the ANC can do is vote for a formal censure since Kensek is not an officer of the ANC.
Kensek, who was sworn into office in late March of this year (to replace a commissioner he had lost to in the 2020 election by 54 percentage points, after she resigned the position), represents ANC 1B05 (the area around Malcolm X Park east of 16th). Kensek has officially declared to to be a write-in candidate for the new ANC 1B05, and will be running against current ANC 1B04 commissioner Deborah Thomas (also as a write-in), as they are now in the same SMD.
The motion was introduced by ANC 1B08 Eric Behna, who said that the situation had become “untenable,” that Kensek hasn’t “lived up” to the standards of conduct for elected officials, and that other ANC commissioners (Amanda Farnan and unsuccessful Ward 1 Council candidate Sabel Harris) have been been “harassed by” Kensek.
Kensek responded to the motion at the meeting by noting the lack of leadership on the ANC, that no one has worked with him since he joined the ANC earlier this year, that the ANC is “very non-transparent”, and essentially denied the allegations.
Last week’s ANC meeting is available on Youtube (goto the 2 hour 10 minute mark roughly)