Expanding Our Lawsuit Against January 6th Insurrectionists

Expanding Our Lawsuit Against January 6th Insurrectionists

AG Racine Speaking in Front of the US Capitol

Back in December, we went to the U.S. Capitol to announce that we filed the first civil lawsuit by a government entity against violent January 6 insurrectionists. We are holding them legally accountable for causing extensive harm to the District, our democracy, and the brave law enforcement officers who risked their lives on that day. We said then that we would consider adding more defendants as we uncovered more evidence, and recently we amended our complaint to do exactly that.

In addition to the more than 30 original defendants, we are now suing the founder of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, as well as Edward Vallejo, Joseph Hackett, David Moerschel, and Brian Ulrich. We also added Matthew Greene—who already pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges brought in a different suit. And this is just the beginning.

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued hundreds of indictments against those who participated in the insurrection. Those are criminal cases and may well send insurrectionists to prison. Our lawsuit is different and seeks another kind of accountability. Our unique mission is to hit these violent groups where it hurts: in the pocketbook.

By suing under the Ku Klux Klan Act, we’re seeking to bankrupt the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who conspired in the attack and prevent an attack like what happened on January 6th from ever happening again. That is my hope for District residents and for our democracy.

Thank you,

Karl A. Racine
Attorney General 

We’re Suing the Biggest Gasoline Supplier in the District for Price Gouging During the Pandemic

Capitol Petroleum Group is the exclusive seller or supplier of gasoline at more than 6 out of 10 of DC's gas stations. We're suing the company for price gouging.

With gas prices top of mind recently, I wanted to give you an update on the lawsuit we brought against DC’s biggest gasoline supplier, Capitol Petroleum Group (CPG), for price gouging DC residents on gas in the early months of the pandemic. Chances are, if you buy gas in the District, you’ve bought it from CPG because along with its affiliates, it is the exclusive seller or supplier of gasoline at more than 60% of DC’s gas stations.

Our lawsuit is moving forward, and we recently filed a motion for summary judgment, which means we’re asking the judge to make a decision about the case and rule in favor of DC residents. The filing shows conduct that is just plain wrong. For example, at 7401 Georgia Ave NW, CPG’s profit margin in March-May 2020 ranged from 39% to 91%, compared to 18% before the pandemic.

While CPG was raking in huge profits from struggling businesses and consumers, in April 2020 it received more than a million dollars in federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, and then an additional million dollars in January 2021. As CPG was taking government assistance, the company’s founder and CEO Joe Mamo made $10 million from CPG in 2020 alone. This kind of profiteering, especially at the taxpayers’ expense, is unacceptable.

We’re seeking restitution for the District consumers CPG and Mamo took advantage of, and we’ll keep you updated on the case.

Congratulations, Justice Jackson!

Let’s celebrate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court last week. It’s high time the American people have a voice and perspective like hers on the bench—as a Black woman, a Washingtonian, and a public servant. She’s spent years protecting our freedom and constitutional rights as a public defender and on the Sentencing Commission. As we said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, my office’s lawyers have appeared before her in more than 30 cases, and it’s clear to us that Justice Jackson will make an exceptional addition to the nation’s highest court. Congratulations, Justice Jackson.

Companies That Cheat DC Workers and Violate Their Rights Will Pay the Price

WIN: Dynamic Contracting will pay over $1 million to workers and the District to resolve our lawsuit accusing the company of misclassifying workers at construction sites across the city

Last week, we announced a win for DC workers: Dynamic Contracting will pay over $1 million to workers and the District to resolve our lawsuit standing up for the rights of workers. Our case accused the company of misclassifying workers to avoid paying full wages on construction projects throughout the District. These employers are robbing workers of their fair wages and benefits, including overtime pay and paid sick leave, and stripping them of crucial labor protections and programs such as workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.

Our investigations and lawsuits make clear: if you cheat workers of their wages and benefits, we'll make you pay back what you owe. Learn more about workers’ rights by watching our Labor Day discussion from last fall.

What Do Algorithms Have to do With Civil Rights? More Than You Think.

Algorithms work off of existing data, which means they can perpetuate existing inequality, if left unchecked.

When you think of algorithms, you might think all they do is serve you personalized advertisements, the next item in your Facebook feed, or a new Netflix show. But that’s not all they do: algorithms touch nearly every facet of our lives, including education, employment, health care, and housing.

Unfortunately, the widespread use of algorithms can infringe on our civil rights by perpetuating discrimination on a massive scale. That’s why I introduced legislation in the DC Council in December to prevent companies from discriminating against marginalized communities and to hold them accountable if they do. Learn more about algorithmic discrimination and how we can put a stop to it, by reading my explainer on Medium.

Remembering Our History This Emancipation Day

This Saturday is DC Emancipation Day, the 160th anniversary of the day President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. For the 3,100 enslaved people in DC, this was a turning point in their lives. But, while the bill granted freedom, it did not grant economic stability or equal rights, and it compensated former enslavers while encouraging newly emancipated enslaved people to leave the city. It’s important that we remember and learn from our history—otherwise we are doomed to repeat it. This Emancipation Day let’s recommit ourselves to demanding a more just future for all residents.

In Our Big Tech Lawsuits, We’re Taking on the Most Powerful Companies in the World

Amazon. Grubhub. Facebook. DoorDash. Google. Those are just a handful of the powerful tech companies my office has taken on in the last few years for their anticompetitive behavior, data privacy issues, deceptive tactics to mislead consumers, and more. We’ve filed lawsuits against an array of companies for a range of legal violations. But what our lawsuits have in common is that they are all about protecting consumers. I spoke with CNBC recently about these lawsuits, and why they feel like “David and Goliath” stories. And remember, David wins.

District Youth are Our Future—and They Have Great Ideas

One of my favorite parts of serving as Attorney General is having opportunities to hear from District youth. We bring young people from around the District into our office as interns, as members of our High School Advisory Council, and so much more. Without fail, when I speak with them, I hear great ideas about resources they need and how to improve our community. DCist recently compiled ideas from kids in Ward 7 and 8, in their own words. I encourage you to give it a read.