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Was the head of the District’s Office of Human Rights fired for trying to expose a scheme that steered contracts to Curtis Lewis & Associates, a minority-owned law firm in Washington? That is one of the claims U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ruled June 30 will go forward in the case between the office’s former head, Charles Holman, and the District. Holman sued Mayor Anthony Williams in September 2002 on five claims stemming from his termination earlier that year. He alleges that he was fired after questioning why the mayor’s then-chief of staff, Joy Arnold, and Barbara Bullock, then president of the Washington Teachers Union, demanded that Holman enter a contract with Curtis Lewis to review complaints filed with his office. (He declined and alleges that the task was assigned to Terence Coles, who was convicted last year of conspiracy, bribery, and fraud in another matter.) Holman, who is represented by Donald Temple, seeks at least $10 million. Friedman dropped three of Holman’s claims against the mayor and ruled that Williams cannot be sued in his individual capacity. But Friedman allowed the case to go forward on two counts. “We’re confident that the court will reject the remaining claims in due course,” a spokesman for Williams said in a statement. Curtis Lewis did not return calls.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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