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Back w/o Jack His table and presence may be long gone, but lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s old Signatures restaurant is having a rebirth. Linda Roth Conte, a publicist for Morton’s The Steakhouse restaurants and a Washington food insider, says D.C. chef and restaurateur Francesco Ricchi, the former owner of iRicchi Restaurant, and Enzo Febbraro, the former executive chef at Georgetown’s Filomena Restaurant, are opening up a new eatery in the 7,328-square-foot space. D’Acqua (which means “of the water” in Italian) will be a seafood restaurant; it is slated to open at the end of the year at 801 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Both Ricchi and Febbraro are currently in Italy and could not be reached. Conte says the team has been making cosmetic alterations to the space, including changes to the carpeting, lighting, and tables. Not so, says Jim Potocki, senior leasing director for Equity Office Properties Trust, which is handling the space. Despite The Washington Post‘s report in its Sept. 6 “Weekly Dish” restaurant-news column that Ricchi has signed a 10-year lease, Potocki says it’s still pending and has not been executed yet. “I won’t deny that we are talking to him,” says Potocki, who adds that no changes have been made to the interior of the space. Peter Pedraza, director of public relations for Equity Office, confirms that no announcement has been made about who is moving into the Penn Quarter location. � Joe Crea
Dismissed PoliticalMoneyLine reported that Rep. Rick Renzi’s (R-Ariz.) committee, Rick Renzi for Congress, owes the law-lobby giant Patton Boggs $76,759 for legal services. What, pray tell, happened? The money owed stems from a 15-month Federal Election Commission audit alleging that Renzi funnelled $369,000 from his two corporations, Renzi Investments Inc. and Renzi & Co. Inc., into his first congressional campaign in 2002. Patton Boggs was retained by Renzi to help out with legal matters associated with the investigation. Brian Hale, press relations manager for Patton Boggs, declined to comment. But in an Aug. 9 letter the FEC sent to Glenn Willard, a Patton Boggs associate, the commission agreed “to take no further action” against Renzi and his companies and closed its file. Willard formerly served as the lead counsel to FEC Commissioner David Mason. Vartan Djihanian, communications director for Renzi, declined to comment for the record and instead offered a statement that the congressman made about the matter in a press release: “For the past three years, liberal operatives have attempted to smear my name with theatrical blogs and desperate and erroneous allegations,” Renzi said. “Upon review of all the additional facts and documents, the FEC has arrived at the correct conclusion that all the monies I used for my first campaign were my proper and permissible personal funds.” PoliticalMoneyLine also notes that Renzi owes $63,607 in payments to Robert Watkins & Company, a Florida accounting firm, for accounting services. � Joe Crea
Weltanschauung King & Spalding, which last year snagged former ambassador to Germany Daniel Coats, has added Terry Snell, a 32-year Foreign Service officer who was deputy chief of mission to the U.S. Embassy in Germany while Coats was ambassador. “I think we were a very successful team in Germany,” says Snell, who was DCM during the first half of Coats’ tenure, from 2001 to 2003. Snell, 58, joined the Foreign Service in 1975, and his career included posts in Barbados, Thailand, Poland, Greece, and Washington. His last job was as political adviser to the United States European Command. “One of the main reasons I was hired was to work with Ambassador Coats to expand the German practice, trying to attract German clients and German clients active here,” Snell says. Snell and Coats, along with former Florida Republican Sen. Connie Mack III, are among about a dozen professionals in King & Spalding’s public policy practice, says group head Theodore Hester. Among the group’s major clients are Lockheed Martin Corp., Google, Amgen Inc., and Sprint Nextel. The firm’s lobbyists also include George Crawford, the former chief of staff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and former House general counsel Thomas Spulak. � T.R. Goldman

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