An officer of five corporations that control five apartment buildings in Washington entered guilty pleas in D.C. Superior Court yesterday to 472 violations of the city housing code on behalf of the corporations.
Gregory S. Marsh, who was answering citations for code violations in four apartment buildings in the 1400 block of R Street NW and one apartment building at 1619 R St. NW, entered a plea of guilty on all counts before Judge Edmond Daly. Sentencing in the case was set for March 13.
"To my knowledge, this case is the biggest we've had in modern history," said Assistant Corporation Counsel Howard Horowitz. "I've been in this office for seven years and never before has anyone pleaded guilty to 400 or more housing code violations."
Horowitz said that as a condition for the guilty pleas, the Corporation Counsel's Office agreed to drop charges against Marsh as an individual and to place the housing code violations against the five corporations that own the buildings at 1420, 1432, 1436, and 1440 R Street NW and at 1619 R Street NW.
The maximum penalty for a housing code violation in D.C. is $300 and 10 days in jail for each count. But under the agreement between Marsh and city officials, the sentence will consist only of a fine because the violations are now directed toward the corporations.
The buildings for which the corporations pleaded guilty are located on the fringes of an area where numerous old apartment buildings are being converted to condominiums and privately owned apartments.