WASHINGTON, D.C. – Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (D–Ward 3), Chair of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, will hold an emergency public hearing on the incident at the Wilson Aquatic Center and the ongoing complaints about the Department of Parks and Recreation’s management and maintenance of recreation facilities. Additionally, a representative from the Metropolitan Police Department will be available to provide the committee and the public with an update on the investigation of the recent incident at the Wilson Aquatic Center.
WHO: Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3)
Dr. Sharia Shanklin, Interim Director, Department of Parks & Recreation
Metropolitan Police Department
WHAT: A public hearing on incidents, management, and maintenance issues at Wilson Aquatic Center and the Department of Parks & Recreation
WHEN: Monday, December 16, 2013
WHERE: Council Chambers – Room 500
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
On Monday, November 25, 2013, two male employees at the pool accompanied by two women entered the facility after hours. All of the people knew each other and all went willingly. Inside, there was drinking and perhaps other activity—all unauthorized. The individuals are all known and the employees have been either fired or suspended pending the investigation. All keys have been recovered, and the individuals are barred from the facility. There is no reason to believe that pool patrons were ever in danger or should feel insecure as a result of this incident. Councilmember Cheh recognizes that significant resources were expended to make the Wilson Aquatic Center the jewel of Ward 3 and that residents should be confident that they will have an enjoyable experience when using the facility. Over the past several years, there have been complaints about mismanagement, improper upkeep, and general neglect for the condition and operation of the center. Councilmember Cheh has worked to address these concerns as they were raised by residents. Monday’s emergency hearing comes on the heels of a previous hearing held a month ago by Cheh, after complaints by residents about issues at the District’s aquatic centers, including the Wilson Aquatic Center reached a critical mass.