The U.S. attorney's office in Washington has closed its investigation of two leaders and one former leader of Change Inc., a neighborhood organization in the 14th Street corridor, and a fourth man in connection with allegations that they attempted to extract a money payment and other favors from a Washington landlord.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Hetherton, who supervised a six-month investigation into the allegations by a federal grand jury and FBI agents, said yesterday that her office will not bring criminal charges against any of the men.
The landlord, Nick Rangoussis, who owns two apartment buildings in the 14th Street corridor, had contended that the Change officials said they would help remove tenants from Rangoussis' properties if he would give the officials interests in the buildings and $100,000, among other things.
A real estate broker had estimated that the buildings, for which Rangoussis paid $210,000 in 1977, would be worth about $6 million if converted to condominiums.
Rangoussis made the allegations against Robert L. King, the president of Change, his then-deputy director, Phaion C. Hyche II, Archie D. Williams, the organization's executive director and Walter Dennis, a colleague of Hyche. King, Hyche and Williams denied Rangoussis' allegations. Hyche has since left the organization.
The grand jury investigation began last March, shortly after a story in The Washington Post about tape recordings Rangoussis made of conversations he had with King and Dennis. Those taped conversations were made available to the federal prosecutor's office.