I would like to present a different perspective of Jesus Sanchez Canete. Carlos Sanchez's portrayal of Mr. Canete as a Robin Hood of the poor Hispanics in Washington {"Tenants Defy Court's Trustee by Spending Rent Strike Money," Metro, July 20} is somewhat simplistic and inaccurate. Mr. Canete is not an advocate for the renters in D.C. apartments; he is just a troublemaker.

My law firm represents the owner of a Columbia Road NW apartment building not mentioned in this article, at which Mr. Canete organized a rent strike. At Mr. Canete's instigation and direction, three of the rent striking tenants attempted to force the landlord out of business by filing an involuntary bankruptcy petition against him. However, the bankruptcy was dismissed as frivolous, and the court assessed sanctions against the tenants and their attorney, David Fernandez, for filing a suit that was not well grounded. The landlord would take no more and decided to fight back; he filed suit against Mr. Canete on the grounds that he and certain of the tenants had maliciously conspired to interfere with the operation of landlord's business and had attempted to drive him out of business by instigating an improper rent strike. The landlord won a $5 million judgment against Mr. Canete and an injunction that prohibits him from entering the landlord's building. Mr. Canete has not complied with this judgment for damages and costs.

Landlords are not inherently bad people; renting apartments is a legitimate business in this country, even if the tenants are in a low-income group. The tenants at my client's building did not have a legitimate reason to protest or strike. No effort was made to communicate with the landlord regarding tenant complaints prior to the rent strike. It is curious and troubling that the article does not address these relevant and material facts. The article does state that Mr. Canete's goal is to have the tenants own their apartment buildings. While home ownership is a legitimate and worthwhile aspiration, Mr. Canete only disserves the tenants by telling them that they can achieve it through economic coercion.

MICHAEL A. MAYS Fairfax