Take Two

Posted July 30, 2003 at 6:05pm

Attorney Charles Day took formal steps toward a second class-action lawsuit against the Capitol Police Board on Wednesday. [IMGCAP(1)]

In a letter to the Office of Compliance, Day requested class status for complaints filed by Officers Arnold Fields and Regina Bolden-Whitaker, who assert they have been retaliated against for their prominent involvement as class agents in an ongoing discrimination suit against the police department.

“Retaliation against our class members must stop,” Day said.

Both officers have been sanctioned through a process that Day described as the “highest level of discipline normally reserved for very serious offenses.”

Fields, disciplined for allegedly turning off a radio during his lunch break, was also issued a four-day suspension.

At a press conference Wednesday, Fields described the incident and subsequent sanctions: “I still don’t understand how this actually took place.”

In addition, Day said several class agents in the initial lawsuit have also faced retaliation.

“There have been a couple of automobile break-ins and vandalism at a key time in negotiations,” Day said.

Settlement negotiations are progressing in the initial class-action suit, filed in 2001 by members of the U.S. Capitol Black Police Association.

Retired Officer Duvall Phelps, a class agent who serves as a liaison to current officers and their attorneys, also asserted that he has been barred from entering Capitol buildings to speak with officers.

Helping Hands. Fifty-five Members of Congress are co-sponsoring the second annual Community Build Day on Saturday.

Participating Members include Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Mel Watt (D-N.C.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.).

During the day-long event — a partnership between Financial Services Roundtable companies and Habitat for Humanity International — some 1,200 volunteers in 14 cities, including Baltimore and New York, will build homes for needy families.

— Jennifer Yachnin and Bree Hocking