Health Dept. Photos Taken Inside Filthy Sam Wang Produce Where Councilmember Vincent Orange Pulled Strings To Help Reopen

11:31 PM, Jan 16, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- WUSA9 has obtained photographs under the Freedom of Information Act taken inside Sam Wang Produce by inspectors the day D.C. Council Member Vincent Orange intervened on the rodent plagued warehouse's behalf.

Update:  Click here to see report of ethics probe into councilmember's involvement.

Records indicate the warehouse, and people listing its address had made contributions to Orange's campaign

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Neither Orange, nor the owners of the warehouse, have returned calls for comment.  

Click through all 20 new photos obtained under the Freedom of Information Act in the WUSA9 photo gallery.

Click here to see video we took of rats when we responded to the warehouse two weeks ago.

The photos show what inspectors reported the day Councilmember Orange intervened, defending the rodent plagued warehouse, and delayed an emergency closure to protect the public.

Through a spokesman, Orange claimed he was responding to a constituent request to expedite a re-inspection to reopen.

Monday, Orange issued a statement saying he was only trying to limit the period the warehouse would be closed to limit financial. impact on workers and tax coffers.

A Health Department spokeswoman said Orange's involvement did not influence the re-inspection.

Wednesday an Orange spokesman said, "the at-large councilmember will not be making additional statements on the matter."

Inspector cited violations for no soap at the handwashing sink, and raw eggs stored above green peppers creating a cross contamination risk of vegetables that might not be cooked.

Photos show pools of water, food debris, and moisture in the walk-in refrigerator and wet wood pallets on the floor.

Inspectors cited and photographed rodent droppings on the floor, and inside cartons emptied of eggs. They also identified portions chewed through.

A spokesman said the droppings were rat and or mice feces.

You can barely make out the rats we saw when we first reported on the violations last week.

Yesterday we showed you the councilmember who defended the warehouse: Vincent Orange.  

Campaign finance records show Sam Wang Produce and people who list the warehouses's Morse ST NE address have donated large sums to his campaigns.

Inspectors photographed overflowing dumpsters and cited Sam Wang produce for a litter- unnecessary item violation because of cans of paint, tires, and even lawn mowers photographed inside the food warehouse.

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