U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle isn't happy with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's administration for the slow pace of reforms needed to protect the health and safety of almost 2,000 developmentally disabled residents under the District's care. At a recent hearing in the 31-year-old class action now called Evans v. Fenty, Huvelle threatened to jail Peter Nickles, Fenty's general counsel, and an official from the D.C. Department of Disability Services for contempt of court if there aren't improvements on the ground soon.
“Think about that for a little while. Just think about it,” Huvelle said at the status hearing. “You’ll see jail is not a friendly place. I’m quite serious about it.”
Attorneys for more than 600 class members want Huvelle to place the Department of Disability Services into receivership with independent control because disabled residents are still suffering abuse, poor supervision, and preventable deaths in contracted group homes. Legal Times published an article today detailing more than three decades of neglect for thousands of the District's most vulnerable residents in what Huvelle has called "the tortured history" of this case.