Jimmy A. Bell said Cornell Jones, whose criminal past was featured on BETâ€™s â€œAmerican Gangster,â€ is not â€œas articulate as a lettered personâ€ and uses the language he knows.
Former drug kingpin Cornell Jones filed a $2 million defamation and racial discrimination lawsuit against the District on Thursday for cutting funds to his nonprofit group and for saying that taxpayer money had been steered to a strip club.
Jonesâ€™s lawsuit in U.S. District Court counters the cityâ€™s recent action in Superior Court to recover $329,653 that Jonesâ€™s group, Miracle Hands, allegedly diverted from a job-training center for people with HIV/AIDS to what became the Stadium Club.
Jimmy A. Bell, Jonesâ€™s attorney, said the city had vilified his client, who founded Miracle Hands after serving nine years in prison for drug distribution.
â€œIâ€™m going to get biblical on you,â€ Bell said. â€œMoses was a murderer .?.?. and he was rehabilitated and changed his life. .?.?. My client paid his debt to society and is helping people better their lives.â€
Bell added, â€œMy client did not use HIV/AIDS funds to build a strip club.â€
The lawsuit points to Attorney General Irvin B. Nathanâ€™s assertion in a news release that the city would seek to recover funds from people who have â€œunjustly enriched themselves at the expense of the District of Columbia.â€