Washington Gas Light Co. has filed suit against D.C. City Council member H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7) for failing to pay more than $100,000 in utility bills on apartment buildings he owns in Southeast Washington.
The suit filed Monday in D.C. Superior Court charges that Crawford owes the utility company $110,289 in unpaid gas bills and asks the court to name a receiver to collect rents at the buildings so that the bills can be paid. The buildings are located at 840 Chesapeake St. SE and 850 Yuma St. SE.
Crawford said yesterday that he was in contact with Washington Gas Light Co. and was attempting to negotiate a repayment schedule.
"It's a simple case of property income not being sufficient to take care of the bills," Crawford said.
A spokesman for Washington Gas Light Co. said yesterday that the company had been negotiating with Crawford for "well over a year" before Monday's action.
"We thought we had come up with a good settlement in the summer of 1984," said spokesman Thomas Julia, "but since then Crawford did not fully keep the terms of the settlement."
Julia added that Crawford had made some payments during the year and that the company was willing to negotiate another repayment schedule.
"We do want to keep the door open," said Julia. "The important thing is not to put this in the public eye and court system, but to get paid and protect our paying customers." A Thursday hearing has been scheduled on the petition to appoint a receiver.
In addition to the two apartments named in Monday's suit, Julia said the Washington Gas Light Co. has filed a court lien on another Crawford property, Southern Hills Apartments, for failure to pay more than $300,000 in gas bills.
Julia added that the company has filed another suit against Crawford to collect $143,000 in unpaid utility bills on his Wayne Terrace Apartments.