I had one of the first co-working spaces in the country, located on Capitol Hill. My business of 27 years was professionally sabotaged, there was nothing I could legally do to stop it. My business was an office leasing company full of happy tenants, US Congressmen and Congress women, Senators, Lobbyists, Attorneys, 501C Political PACs, and Associations on both sides of the political isle and both sides of many issues. My business was valued at more than a $1,000,000+ and at some point I would sell it and retire and spend more time with my three children ages 5,8 and 11. In mid 2015, things started going affray at the office complex.
It was over a year before we knew that my business operation was being professionally sabotaged and by whom. From mid 2015 to January of 2017 the saboteur carried out very sophisticated attacks and was well trained. They had previously posed as a "practicing physician" at Pennsylvania University Hospital until it was discovered that (he/she) was an imposter. From cyber hacking attacks to website disruptions, emails, crashing the building security, phone systems and HVAC systems, messes in the hallways, vandalism in the common areas, intentionally clogged toilets to missing files and paperwork and trashed computers, it became undeniable that the business was being professionally sabotaged. These acts pushed my tenants to break their leases and did so in a way that was considered a civil case, meaning that there would be no police assistance or repercussions. This has a been an extremely grueling and taxing process for my tenants and myself, but I believe getting my story out there could potentially help current business owners stay protected.
We added extra security measures in a tactful manor, seeing as they were interrupting our security footage the moment they would walk in the door. Even with profound evidence of sabotage, tampering, hacking and who was conducting it there was nothing that the police could do without a sabotage law. According to the police, "it's just a civil matter and as the saboteur is a tenant there is nothing that can be done."
These events were so detrimental to my business that I was pushed to eviction and had no business left to sell after 27 years.
What I'm Doing About It
My goal is to make sure that this never happens to anybody else. I have a case in Landlord and Tenant Superior Court, a case in District of Columbia Court of Appeals and a case in the District of Columbia Superior Court. I am looking to utilize my experience getting bills through congress, using my connections on the hill, and my unfortunate but extensive knowledge of sabotage, in order to explore a possible a course of action prohibiting sabotage within the United States.
Currently, there is only one state in the United States that deems sabotage as a criminally punishable offense. In the other 49 states sabotage is considered as a civil matter, meaning that our justice system will not take any actions in the matter. It could happen to you or someone you know.
Getting sabotage legislation considered or at least starting a dialogue on the subject is the right thing to do. Prevailing in the courts could possibly help me get my business back up and running, but more importantly would lead to a open dialogue on the need for codification of rules against Sabotage and hopes that no one would be able to get away with this in the future.
Washington’s State Bill
I would like to use Washington’s Law as a basis for exploring the possibility of a sabotage code. Criminal Sabotage is defined by Washington as
- Whoever, with intent that his or her act shall, or with reason to believe that it may, injure, interfere with, interrupt, supplant, nullify, impair, or obstruct the owner's or operator's management, operation, or control of any agricultural, stockraising, lumbering, mining, quarrying, fishing, manufacturing, transportation, mercantile, or building enterprise, or any other public or private business or commercial enterprise, wherein any person is employed for wage, shall willfully damage or destroy, or attempt or threaten to damage or destroy, any property whatsoever, or shall unlawfully take or retain, or attempt or threaten unlawfully to take or retain, possession or control of any property, instrumentality, machine, mechanism, or appliance used in such business or enterprise, shall be guilty of criminal sabotage.
- Criminal sabotage is a class B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.
Assemblages of Saboteurs is defined as Whenever two or more persons assemble for the purpose of committing criminal sabotage, as defined in RCW 9.05.060, such an assembly is unlawful, and every person voluntarily and knowingly participating therein by his or her presence, aid, or instigation, is guilty of a class B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not more than ten years, or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or both.
I believe that using Washington’s law prohibiting sabotage as a basis for considering a code at the federal level is the best course of action to prevent future criminal acts as well as provide a course of action incase this is to happen to anyone again. Once I save my home and prevail in these court cases I will be on the job to see if the dialogue can be start here on Capitol Hill.
I have started a GoFundMe campaign in order to start an association to get this legislation through. If you would like to support my cause please donate to my campaign or share this with your friends and in on social media.