Current: Brodsky should step down on Georgetown and other cases
The Georgetown Current is urging the city's top alcohol regulatory official to step down from cases in Georgetown, Capitol Hill and parts of downtown, where the official's private business interests require approvals from local ANCs. In its Wednesday, March 2 issue, a Current editorial states:
"Charles Brodsky chairs the city's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which acts as arbiter between liquor-serving establishments and their neighbors. He also heads Washington Sports and Events Management LLC, which runs an annual triathlon through the city.
At first glance, the two gigs don't seem to conflict. But recently, Georgetowners have complained about an overlap: Mr. Brodsky's private business requires the support of residents along the race's route, while residents want the chair's support when seeking limits on local bars and restaurants.
The possible conflict came to light when Mr. Brodsky attended a meeting of the Georgetown advisory nighborhood commission in November to seek support for road closings for his race -- ad then stayed on while commissioners discussed liquor licenses.
Mr. Brodsky has responded to the issue by recusing himself on cases discussed at that November meeting and promising to send another representative of his company to future meetings.
Mr. Brodsky's company consistently seeks the support of advisory neighborhood commissions in the three parts of the city where the race requires street closures: Georgetown, Capitol Hill and parts of downtown. Since his interest in the decisions will be evident even if he is not present during the discussion, we think he should step down on all liquor cases in those neighborhoods.
The same principle would apply were Mr. Brodsky, or another member of a city entity like the alcohol board, to seek resident support for a building addition or development project. But the consistency in this case -- the race takes place every year -- makes the matter all the more pressing.
We hop Mr. Brodsky will rethink the issue. Whether there is actual conflict is irrelevant; even the appearance is a problem."