Wardman v. District of Columbia, et al

DC Convention Center Hotel Case Opinion


Private developer sued the District of Columbia alleging that the City Council exceeded its legislative authority pursuant to the D.C. Home Rule Act in exempting a substantial public-private development project from the city’s procurement laws. Developer argued that the Mayor violated the “public credit clause” of the Home Rule Act (which expressly prohibits enacting legislation that "lends the public credit for support of any private undertaking") in granting a private corporation generous concessions to facilitate the construction of a Convention Center Hotel. Concessions included, among other things, the city contributing approximately 130 million dollars to the project after the issuance of tax increment financed bonds, granting the corporation over 20 million dollars, leasing city-owned land to the corporation for 99 years and subordinating the city’s debt and lease payments to the project’s ability to generate a profit. The concessions negotiated by the Mayor were later codified through separate acts of legislation (referred to as the “Hotel Acts). Superior Court Associate Judge Natalia M. Combs Greene ruled that (1) the City Council had authority to exempt the project from the city’s procurement laws as since it had authority to create procurement laws; (2) the city’s concessions did constitution a lending of the public credit; and (3)the project was not a private undertaking, however, within the meaning of the Home Rule Act where, among other things, the hotel augmented an existing public asset (the Convention Center), supported the City Council’s effort to create jobs and foster economic development. Accordingly, the Court granted in part defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment and granted in part defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, disposing of the case.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Reference Info:Decision | State, D.C. Circuit, D.C. | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Scrofano Law PC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Scrofano Law PC on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.