Former D.C. Alcohol official vows to fight police impersonation charges

Chuck Brodsky said he's fighting the charges against him. (Photo curtesy of Brodsky)

Charles Brodsky - the former chairman of D.C.'s alcohol control board - was arrested Saturday night for allegedly impersonating a police officer, according to D.C. Police. Brodsky has promised to fight the charges.

Brodsky was arrested just one day after resigning his post as chair of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. He still had a year left in his term.

On Saturday night around 9:15 p.m., D.C. Police said Brodsky was parked in a no-parking, no-standing zone in Adams Morgan. When an officer approached to issue a ticket, he said he saw Brodsky entering his vehicle to remove a red dash light and a placard that read "POLICE OFFICIAL BUSINESS."

According to the police report, Brodsky told the officer he had been the chairman of the alcohol control board and was given the light by the District government to use on official business. Police officials said he then changed his story and said "a police friend gave it to him."

Brodsky was charged with impersonating a police officer and use of official insignia, both misdemeanor charges. He was processed and released Sunday morning.

In a phone interview with WJLA, Brodsky said he lives in Adams Morgan. He admitted to parking illegally on Saturday night. In fact, he said he has already paid the parking ticket online. However, he disputes some parts of the police report and he plans to fight the police impersonation charges in court.

Brodsky said, "I am a police officer in the city of Alexandria. So when I told them I was a police officer in the city of Alexandria, that's a true statement."

In October 27, 2010, he said he was issued a Special Conservator of the Peace designation through a Virginia court order. With it, he said he is allowed to use a flashing red light and identify himself as a police officer.

Conservators of the Peace traditionally include police, sheriffs, magistrates and judges. In Virginia, Special Conservators of the Peace are appointed by a court. The designation is often given to private security guards.

Brodsky declined to specify why he needs the Special Conservator of the Peace designation or how he uses it. However, he said it was something he was "interested in pursuing professionally and intellectually."

When the officers questioned him on Saturday, Brodsky said he offered a valid I.D. from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. He said he never identified himself as "an officer of D.C., either reserve or full-time." He said, "My belief is that M.P.D. didn't quite understand what a Special Conservator of the Peace is. You don't see them very often so it's not like you come across them everyday."

Brodsky already made headlines Friday when he resigned from the alcohol control board.

Brodsky - founder of the Nation's Triathlon in D.C. - was appointed chairman of the control board by former Mayor Adrian Fenty. Earlier this year, Mital Gandhi, a former board member accused Brodsky of using his position for personal gain.

The Gray administration said Tuesday an investigation by the Mayor's office "found evidence of the appearance of conflict of interest and violation of board ethical standards but the details of the findings have not been released because of ongoing investigations by the D.C. Inspector General and D.C. Attorney General."

Brodsky has denied any allegations of a conflict of interest. He said he decided to resign his chairmanship because - over time - the allegations became a distraction for the control board. "It became untenable," he said.

Brodsky said it was 100% his decision to resign before his term ended. He said, "I support Mayor [Vincent] Gray. I am fully behind him and the direction he wants to move the city."

Board member Nicholas Alberti will stand as interim chair until Gray selects a full-time replacement.