The Department of Agriculture has agreed to allow the Capitol View Market to continue to accept food stamps until a federal judge reviews the government's decision to suspend the store's food stamp license for six months.
The market at 4920 Central Ave. NE was scheduleld to lose its food stamp privileges today, based on the government's charges that its owners had, on five occassions, accepted the stamps for nonfood items, such as beer and household cleaning items.
The owners went to U.S. District Court Wednesday to stop enforcement of the government's order. They were backed by a petition and letters from neighbors, policemen and D.C. City Council member Willie J. Hardy (D-Ward 7) who said the inner-city community would be hard hit if the market could no longer accept food stamps.
Yesterday, Judge Harold H. Greene approved an agreement between the government and the market that said the six-month disqualification would be postponed, pending Greene's review of the case.
Meanwhile, the owner of the 7 & N Street Market at 1252 N Street NW yesterday asked the federal court to stop the Agriculture Department from suspending that store's food stamp privileges for three years, starting Monday. According to court records, the government contends that the 7 & N Street Market sold nonfood items for food stamps, particularly alcohol, cigarettes and household items.
Gene R. Johnson, an attorney for that market, said yesterday that he plans to ask the court for an expedited hearing in the case.