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Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 08/19/2009

Mayor Rethinks Recreation Wish List Eviction

There seem to be second thoughts in D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's administration about evicting Cora Masters Barry and her Recreation Wish List Committee from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, the city-run tennis program she founded.

"If Cora Barry gets her corporate papers together, then we will determine if she can play a role in the future plans of the city," said Fenty spokeswoman Erica Stanley early Wednesday.

However, Mafara Hobson, Fenty's director of communications, called a short time later to say that Stanley's comments did not accurately describe the administration's position.

"While we can't comment on leasing or contracting issues, the administration appreciated the contribution and partnership of Cora Masters Barry over the years," Hobson said. "We will work hard to find ways to continue working with her going forward."

The comments from Fenty's camp came one day after tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams made a direct appeal to the mayor in a statement.

Reached by phone, Barry said: "I need to consult with my board to understand what the mayor is saying."

On Monday, A. Scott Bolden, attorney for the Recreation Wish List, filed papers to reestablish the organization as a registered D.C. corporation.

Last Friday, D.C. police officers served Barry papers giving her 30 days to vacate because, according to Attorney General Peter Nickles, her group, which has raised more than $2 million for programs at the center, had their D.C. corporation registration revoked before entering into a partnership with the city.

-- Hamil R. Harris

By Washington Post Editors  |  11:43 AM ET, 08/19/2009

Categories:  Hamil R. Harris, Hamil R. Harris, Hamil R. Harris | Tags:  Cora Masters Barry, Recreation Wish List

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