City Desk

Marion Barry Lashes Out at David Catania

Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry has written a letter to at-large colleague David A. Catania accusing him of a "personal vendetta" and saying he's "perplexed, appalled, hurt by your increasingly [sic] levels of disrespect."

That includes Catania's decision to walk out on Friday's press conference announcing an independent investigation of Barry's contract with Donna Watts-Brighthaupt after Barry used to opportunity to rail against Park Police. And also Catania's abortive investigation into what "essentially is a personnel matter" with a nonprofit he funded through an earmark.

Why such treatment? Instead of the race card, Barry pulls the gay card: "I attribute your latest actions to my 'no' vote on recognizing same sex marriages from other states."

With regard to the nonprofit, he writes: "For you to imply that the 'Clean and Sober' community investment is administered or supervised by myself or Brenda Richardson is a lie. I call upon you to stop spreading these lies and false perceptions as it pertains to this."

He closes: 'You and your emotionally charged actions is causing a great divide. In a Democracy, there is room for dissent and disagreement. It happens in Legislative bodies all across this great land. Let’s meet and see if we can come to an amicable resolution.'

The full letter:

July 13, 2009

Dear David,

I have been perplexed, appalled, hurt by your increasingly levels of disrespect. On several occasions Chairman Gray has asked that you and I meet, and you have refused. Most recently, you walked out of the Chairman’s press conference making an emotional public statement. I attribute your latest actions to my “no” vote on recognizing same sex marriages from other states. Prior to the vote, we worked together cordially and with respect to one another.

As you may recall, soon after the vote you came down to my office. To say that you used choice words when speaking with me would be an understatement – you literally cursed me out. Since that time you have been rude, disrespectful, and will not even speak to me even when spoken to. Furthermore, you have taken upon yourself to draw in on what essentially is a personnel matter for the Board of Directors of Clean and Sober and Youth Leadership Council. This is unprecedented in your affairs with DC City Council.

As you very well know, the community investments in question were approved by the DC City Council. These community investments are administered by the agencies where they are placed. As you further know, Council members DO NOT HAVE contract authority. For you to imply that the “Clean and Sober” community investment is administered or supervised by myself or Brenda Richardson is a lie. I call upon you to stop spreading these lies and false perceptions as it pertains to this.

To add insult to injury, you have not involved any of the other four members of the Committee, including myself, in the issue of “Clean and Sober.” Independent of any other Member of the Committee, you on your own, has asked the Inspector General to investigate this matter. David, this is under the purview of the entire Council and not you independently. Just because you have a personal vendetta against me, an equal member of the Council with the same voting rights as you, does not mean that you should not be professional and discuss this matter with me and other members of the committee prior to making any calls of an investigation.

May I suggest that you turn the page and stop being disrespectful and unprofessional as it relates to me, personally and professionally, and other Members of the Council. You and your emotionally charged actions is causing a great divide. In a Democracy, there is room for dissent and disagreement. It happens in Legislative bodies all across this great land. Let’s meet and see if we can come to an amicable resolution.

Marion Barry

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  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Barry is scared - very scared. & so is Richardson & the other conspirators. RICO has a way of doing that.

    They should be scared. We're going to see eight or ten or more of these folks doing hard time behind bars.

    We need to track all filings by these so-called "non-profits". We need to see if any more irregularities are present - even though there's clear evidence of fraud in the forged signatures & lying about the members of the boards.

    Richardson’s own written statements implicate her as “supervising” these “non-profits”. She’s going to be the focal point of the pressure – she’ll go to prison for a long, long time unless she testifies against Barry.

    Also: Is Barry calling the Rev. Hattie McDuffy a liar? This is from the original CP article on these "non-profits":

    “The Rev. Hattie McDuffie says … there's no doubt who's in charge of Clean and Sober: ‘Richardson. ‘She's the head of the whole thing," she says.”

  • Wrack

    Who wrote this, a 5th grader?

  • The Advoc8te

    Agreed. Once everyone turns to save their own skin the entire house of cards is going to fall. Unfortunetly it is not surprising. Anyone who is familiar with Ward 8 politics is aware of the curroption. ANC 8C is a prime example- more theft than a prison yard.

  • Dave

    Was this letter released to the media or did LL obtain it?

  • Not actually David Catania

    Dear Marion,

    As one can read in any of a number of advice columns, it is generally considered wise, when writing a letter while angry, to set the letter aside a time in order to allow time to re-visit the letter with a fresh mind. I imagine that if you had done that, you would at least have noticed that words were missing and subjects and verbs did not agree. Until such time as you demonstrate a fluency in the English language, I will have no choice but to assume that you also do not have fluency in the laws of our great District.

    David Catania

  • sigmund freud

    Marion: perhpas Chancellor Rhee can arrange some remedial English training for you you sad, pathetic, corrupt jerk.

  • downtown rez

    This is a warning shot- the intent of which appears to be to indicate that Barry is willing to go to war, and is choosing sexual politics (and class and race, because Barry is Barry, natch).
    It will be interesting to see which "grown ups" step in to quiet the fray.

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    You're right, Rez - Barry declared war. It'll be a war over race & sex/class/etc. just as you said.

    The "grown-up" who will step in to quiet the fray? A Federal prosecutor, aided by the FBI, & a Federal judge, who will quiet the fray by sending Barry, Richardson, & the rest of the conspirators to prison for a good long time, somewhere between five to fifteen years, depending on who cooperates & the degree of the cooperation.

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    & we've seen the opening skirmishes pre-war here on this blog. Catania has been attacked viciously, with slurs about his sexuality & threats. Anyone who mentions that Barry is supported by a hard-core "kool aid" clique in Ward 8 is attacked viciously & called a racist - called a racist by the very people who live & breathe & only exist to promote racist causes, the black KKK in essence.

    It's going to be ugly.

  • downtown rez

    But, Al, you feed it. C'mon. Half of DC blacks are criminals? C'mon. Sorry to channel Q here, but seriously...
    There's no reason to cut off your leg just 'cause a snake bit your toe.


    The actions of Councilmember Barry are being taken well out of proportion. I think there should be an investigation into the non-profit that Fenty and his friends have started. Who, what and where does that money go? The city needs a good house cleaning, don't leave the Mayor's office out of it.

  • NE Resident

    To Downtown Rez,

    Let me let you understand something, half of DC's African-Americans are not criminals. You whites must love the jail birds because you're moving into DC at a steadfast pace! So what does that say about you all????

  • Chris Peterson


    Superior work again, MdB.

  • 4m123

    Yes indeed, hooray for LL.

  • Obvious

    I really admire you David Catania!

    Signed a Girl

    Thought - A letter of this kind would never have surfaced if watts-brighthaupt were still around to whip some sense into MB. Pontification, unprofessional and full of emotional bullcrap is quite unneccessary when writing for the public ;)

  • BobinDC

    I really didn't think that I could be any more disappointed in and embarrassed for Marion Barry.

    More than laughing stock of the nation, now he's exposed as just a petty crook that sexually harasses his staff.


  • KCinDC

    NE Resident, I think you're misreading Downtown Rez, who is apparently *objecting* to an earlier claim of Al's that half of DC blacks are criminals.

  • Dr. Van Helsing

    I don't like D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry, nor that sissy "PUNK" David C. Catania. Catania runs off at the mouth too much and his a vicious 'QUEEN" when you get on her wrong side. I hope neither on these two assholes get re-elected to the Council of the District of Columbia.

    Ward 3 D.C. Resident

  • Dr. Van Helsing

    I don’t like D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry, nor that sissy “PUNK” David C. Catania. Catania runs off at the mouth too much and he's is a vicious ‘QUEEN” when you get on her wrong side. I hope neither on these two assholes get re-elected to the Council of the District of Columbia.

    Ward 3 D.C. Resident

  • Dr. Van Helsing

    David Catania is a white gossiping "Queen" like Perez Hilton. Someone punched Miss Perez Hilton in the face recently for talking shit to them. I predict, the same thing will happen to Miss Catania. Recently, it was quoted in the City Paper, Miss Catania stated to Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, he was the "Queen" in the Gay Parade last month. Catania is a real sissy! D.C. At-Large Councilmember David A. Catania is a vindictive asshole. Catania need to pack his shit and move back to Minnesota with the rest of the racist white "CRACKERS". Oops, I forget if he moves back home being a homosexual white male in Saint Olaf, Minnesota, Rose Nylund's family will run him out of town.

  • downtown rez

    NE Resident: I never said half of blacks are criminal. I was responding to someone else who did. Reread what I wrote and you'll see.

  • Fake

    Downtown Rez,

    If that is true that half of blacks in DC are criminal, It must be true that 99% of Whites are phedophile. Based on the report on Dateline host by Chris Hanson "How to Catch a Predator". About 99% of the time I saw white men pulling up to homes to have sex with young boys and girls. FREAKY!!!!!!!

  • The Commiss

    Marion should be scared to death! I know what RICO laws can do, think Mayor "Buddy" Cianci of Providence, RI. He was the longest running major of the city, served over 21 years as Mayor. He went to jail on RICO statue without being convict of a single criminal charge. Cianci was acquitted of 26 of 27 charges, including bribery, extortion, and mail fraud. He was, however, found guilty of a single charge of racketeering conspiracy (running a corrupt criminal enterprise). He spent 5 years in jail at Fort Dix Correctional Facility. I think Marion would look great in an orange jumpsuit picking up trash along the 295-395 corridors.
    As for David, he probably is mad at Marion. Think about it, you have an ally who frankly you think is a lying, cheating (divorced 4 times), crack smoking, dope smoking, whore screwing, tax cheat who is the council with you and now he is up to his old tricks again, and pulling the crap he has been over the last term. I said go get him David! It's time Marion called it a day. The “Marion Barry Machine” is over in DC. There are too many young, educated, moral people of all colors and walks of life in this city, who have had enough from Marion's camp. I say it's time Marion just bow out and be done with politics. He has his HBO Special, “The Nine Lives of Marion Barry”. He has had more than his 15 minutes of fame, and although I will agree Marion has made many contributions, he has also taken a lot from this city, including a pay check for years of service of which some of those years were a cloud of smoke, be it crack smoke in the 90’s or dope smoke in this century. It's time we “smoke” Marion out. Marion just be done with the mess. Tell everyone you are not going to run again and retire, your time is done. As Kenny Rodgers would say, “You got to know when to walk away, know when to run!” It's time you run because frankly those who are “over it”, are now going to chase you down. Marion resign before it gets to hot! RICO statues are nothing to fool with, read the "Price of Providence", you might learn to avoid prison by doing so. RUN Marion RUN!

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  • candycane1

    Sigmund Freud: Don't use Rhee as a resource to improve writing skills. Have you ever seen her writing? Most of the time it is full of errors. You should see the letters that she sends out to go into the graduation programs. Simply awful. She definitely needs someone to proof-read.

  • Hillcrester

    Barry, having you around is like always having a train wreck to watch. A never ending train wreck.

  • Q

    Not to dis' Rhee (this is a Barry article), but her speaking ain't all that great either. I'm sorry, I should have said, "Her word choices and use of colloquialisms are not indicative of someone whose occupation is responsible for academic and educational achievement."

    Most folks don't realize that the more you bring Barry down, the stronger his support base is. Honestly, if he is left alone, this probably would have been his last term. Now, the more this stuff gets out, and after he is CLEARED of any serious wrongdoing (or verbally admonished), he'll be back in 2012 (providing his health keeps up). He's got every reason now to run debts and to shut up the cynics. My suggestion to anyone trying to defeat Barry...move latino and gay folks in Ward 8. If you mix up the demographic you MIGHT have a chance at defeating him.

    Maybe Catania should move to Ward 8, LOL!

  • Tell It LIke It Is

    Q many of the Salvadorans/Central Americans in D.C. are illegal aliens. Instead of moving them to Ward 8, their asses need to be deported.

  • Dave

    DeBonis! Where are you, punk? We need to know how you got this letter. Is it an open letter Barry's office gave out to the media? Or is it a private letter that you got your hands on.? The answer to those questions are important? If Barry sent this letter privately, that would mean something. But if it's an open letter, then it's just Barry trying to score political points off of Catania.

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  • Truth Hurts

    Barry's pathetic, obnoxious, and needs a spelling lesson. Great reporting, LL.

  • Jesse Helms

    I have no further comments to say to you Angry Al Gonzales, because your days are numbered on this earth by your having full blown AIDS. Being that you are bi-poloar, you should see a Psychiatrist. I don’t have AIDS, because I’ve never had sex or been fucked in my ass by another man. I've been with the same woman for over 20 years and we have great sex, not perverted sex. I would tell you to go see a Catholic Priest, but you two might start sucking each others “COCKS”. Don’t worry Angry Al Gonzales, death will suit an angry HOMO like you fine. Goodbye Angry Al Gonzales, because your angry HOMO ass will be dead soon.

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  • Pingback: Vox Populi » The District Digest: More of Marion misbehavin’

  • Dr. Van Helsing

    Yes,Yes,Yes. Blame the Police. Blame the schools. Blame "the man." Everyone but themselves and their morally bankrupt culture. Their is a solution to Washington, D.C. ills though. All law abiding citizens with positive value systems MOVE OUT, and take your tax money with you. There are plenty of places to live where people don't milk the entitlements, have multiple baby mamas and shoot each other over crack rock. Businesses, large and small. You go too and take your taxes, creativity, work ethic and economy driving revenues along to a place where you won't be drained with taxes to provide programs for the entitlement looters. Many cities and towns in the country will welcome you, not punish you.Leave the city to looters and the corrupt politicians they elected to distribute them your money. In a short while half the city will starve to death and the other half will kill each other off. Then you can return, buy everything back for pennies on the dollar and start over.It's easy, and just.

  • tony

    Catania has no respect for black politicians, period. And, he is angry because the black voters will not accept him as their leader...The fact of the matter is that catania is a white gay man who presupposes that he knows whats best for the black community,but he is wrong....He can take the lead on United Medical Center all he wants, but he will never be accepted and supported by the black community. He should stick to representing his white gay supporters at least the few that have not already died!

    And, the new white folks who have a problem with how this black-governed city is being managed have options---maryland is on one side of the border and virginia is on the other side.