The Washington Bullets, showered with confetti only last month, have been doused by a bill for $1,146.30 from the D.C. Armory Board for participating in their own victory parade and celebration.
The board, which runs the R.F.K. Stadium and armory complex, sent the NBA champions a tab for services rendered during the June 9 celebration.
The stadium was the last of several stops the Bullets made on their triumphant tour of the area two days after they won the National Basketball Association championship.
Jerry Sachs, executive vice president of the team and president of Capital Centre, and "Victory Day" coordinator Ofield Dukes were stunned that the Armory Board had billed the Bullets.
"It came as a surprise to me," Sachs said yesterday. "We didn't know a thing about it. When I called Ofield, who made the arrangements for us, he told me to send it (the bill) to him."
Dukes, who had insisted RFK be the final stop of the day, said he thought the bill, most of which was for overtime pay, would be paid by the armory board or the District government. Board Manager Robert Sigholtz was out of town and could not be reached for comment.
"It was utterly absurd," said Dukes, who operates the Ofield Dukes and Assciates public relations firm. "He (Sigholtz) threatened to cancel the affair at 2 p.m. that day (the rally at RFK was scheduled for 5:30) because he didn't have any money up front.
"Many other people, both the Fairfax and D.C. police and the D.C. Department of Recreation, worked overtime that day and I haven't received one complaint concerning money or costs incurred."
The armory board did arrange to reassign personnel who were working straight time for duties that day but didn't approve of overtime pay.
Because of the rescheduling, the bill was cut to $1,146.30 instead of an estimated $2,200. In a letter sent to Abe Pollin, president of the Bullets, Sigholtz said the board didn't concern itself with the estimated cost because Dukes assured the board someone would pay the bill.
I suspect if it been the Redskins, there would have been no such problems," said Dukes.