Jun 18, 2014

AU Won't Attend Public Meetings with Banned Elected Official

Andrew Huff, a community relations official with [American University], told D.C. police that Kent Slowinski, an elected member of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D, punched him in the shoulder with a closed fist, hard enough for him to stumble.  Though Slowinski's name is not on the public portion of the police report, he freely admitted in an interview to throwing at least one hard punch - but, he said, only after Huff rudely interrupted him as he chatted with a constituent.  Slowinski said Huff stuck his hand out, hoping for a handshake; the commissioner said he tried to walk way, and then Huff pushed him.  

"He filed a police report, really?"  Slowinski said.  "I felt threatened.  I wasn't going to shake his hand.  I was walking away and he pushed me.  I said, 'That's assault,' and so I punched him in the arm."

... Slowinski said Huff has a habit of "rolling his eyes" during meetings and cutting him and others off when they challenge campus dogma ... Slowinski said he wanted to discuss other, more unusual community concerns: buried chemical weapons from World War I and whether any might be leaking into a parking lot along a residential street.  Land in the Spring Valley neighborhood that is now part of the university was an old U.S. Army munitions testing site and dumping ground.
Peter Hermann
Washington Post
June 12, 2014

In response to the incident, the university banned Slowinski from its campus and property. Furthermore, the university’s Linda Argo wrote in a letter to the  neighborhood commission: “American University will not participate in any ANC meeting until adequate assurance is provided that Mr. Slowinski will not be present.” ... Commissioner Tom Smith, an outspoken critic of many of the university's development plans, said in an email that he has found Huff to be sometimes rude and threatening at past community meetings and personally refuses to attend meetings in which Huff is the only university representative present ... Last week's incident is Slowinski's second police matter in recent months regarding the munitions issue.  According to a Metropolitan Police Department report, an officer stopped him in September 2013 for trespassing while taking pictures. 
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