Saturday, July 10, 2010


This morning's Washington Post reports that a Fairfax County audit of RPJ Housing, the low income housing group formerly headed by Herb Cooper-Levy, has been found to be in dire financial straits.

The audit did not uncover other irregularities such as the forged zoning document which led to Mr. Cooper-Levy's ouster earlier this year. But the audit "uncovered unusual credit swaps performed by the nonprofit and found that RPJ had over-leveraged itself by buying more than a dozen houses and apartment buildings in the mid-2000s, according to a summary of findings provided to county officials."

Potentially as many as 100 families who live in RPJ housing in Fairfax County may soon lose their homes as a consequence of RPJ's financial difficulties. Also in jeopardy according to the Post are the volunteer home renovation programs Rebuilding Together and Hearts and Hammers, which RPJ operated in Arlington, Fairfax County and Falls Church.

So besides the accusation by Fairfax County officials that he forged a key zoning document, it appears Mr. Cooper-Levy also failed in one of the primary duties of the leader of any charitable organization: to prudently manage its finances.

So did Alexandria Planning Commission Chairman John Komoroske read the article this morning? Did he reflect on his long, closely intertwined relationship with Mr. Cooper-Levy on the Braddock Action Team and how promoting big development in our neighborhood in exchange for City bucks fed the hubris of his colleague, leading not only to his downfall but to a cascade of misfortune for people who need RPJ's help?

We in this neighborhood have principles, but once again those in power in Alexandria who dictate to us have demonstrated they have none.