City Desk

Why Is Marion Barry Driving a Car Registered to His Crony?

0218barry_car

Anyone who carries on personal and political dealings with Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry lives under something of a cloud: Sooner or later, you're going to be interrogated or investigated by authorities. Girlfriend Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, key aide Brenda Richardson, other staffers—they all come in for some prime-time analysis in the report issued earlier this week by attorney Bob Bennett.

The light of scrutiny shines hard on the Rev. Anthony Motley, one of Barry's closest confidants and a 2010 independent candidate for an at-large D.C. Council seat.

Motley's name surfaces in Bennett's report in connection with those various Ward 8 "councils," shorthand for the nonprofits that Barry helped create and to which he steered city funds. Motley told investigators that he launched the groups in order to be Barry's "eyes and ears and legs on the ground."

Besides eyes and ears and legs, Motley's also had a key role regarding Barry's wheels.

Unlike most other councilmembers, Barry's ride doesn't sport special council plates, but rather a plain-old District tag, CU-5768. Marion Barry without vanity tags is a puzzling thing, because if there's one thing the career pol loves, it's the perks of public office.

And if the councilmember drove a car registered in his own name, it's a good bet that he'd have "Ward 8 Councilmember" emblazoned on those red-white-and-blue tags. But his ride, a 1997 Mercedes E320, isn't registered to the councilmember. It's registered to Motley, according to public records available through Lexis-Nexis.

The car has been in Motley's name since May 2007, and Barry has been driving the car at least since June 2008, when it was found inconsiderately parked on Washington City Paper's parking deck. It's regularly parked in front of the John A. Wilson Building—where it was parked yesterday.

So why would Barry drive a car not registered in his name?

Actually, a better question: Why not?

Like tardiness and nasty quips and the press, Barry has trademarked the art of tying his fortune to that of his cronies. To wit, the Bennett report finds that Barry ordered girlfriend Donna Watts-Brighthaupt to give him cash paid to her via a city contract he awarded.

The report doesn't discuss the councilmember's odd automobile arrangement, but it does outline what Motley has received through his association with Barry: He "personally received at least $54,000 from [fiscal 2009] earmark grant recipients"—earmarks all requested by Barry.

Anthony Motley

Anthony Motley — file photo by Darrow Montgomery

Motley's ties to Barry go deep. He played a key role in Barry's 2008 council campaign. Last year, he married a member of Barry's council staff. He waited outside a Park Police lockup late into the night of July 4, 2009, waiting for Barry to be released after his stalking arrest. And according to the Bennett Report, Motley's been Barry's "medical attorney in fact" since February 2009—meaning Motley's empowered to make medical decisions for Barry in case he's incapable of making them himself.

However, there's another reason why Barry might not want to have a late-model Mercedes registered in his name. Under the terms of a settlement agreement with federal prosecutors in his long-running federal tax-fraud case, Barry has to fully report his income and spending to authorities on a monthly basis in order to determine how much of his income is seized in order to pay back taxes. If Barry were to include payments on a luxury vehicle, they could demand an adjustment to Barry's repayment schedule.

If prosecutors determine that Barry has been shrouding income—say by driving a car registered in someone else's name—it could lead them to seek yet another contempt finding against Barry.

Motley did not return numerous calls for comment.

LL reached Barry this afternoon and asked him why his car is registered to Motley. His reply: "Goodbye." Dial tone.

The automobile arrangement isn't the only affair raising questions about Motley's fitness for public office. The Bennett Report is rife with instances of bad behavior involving Motley.

When the Ward 8 "councils" were first incorporated, it was Motley who paid for the corporate registration process—by withdrawing money from the Marion Barry Scholarship Fund, money meant for needy kids. Motley told investigators he did so of his own volition, but a Barry aide, according to the report, said it was done under Barry's orders—raising the prospect that Motley was covering for Barry.

As noted above, Barry-directed earmarks were a key source of income for Motley.

Of the $54,000 that Motley received from the "councils," $39,000 reimbursed the Barry associate for serving as executive director of nonprofits named Inner Thoughts and Jobs Coalition.

Motley got another $14,500 through another earmark recipient, a group called the National Association of Former Foster Care Children of America. Motley had no direct connection to the group, but because the NAFFCCA didn't meet the council's minimal rules for receiving earmarked funds, they needed a "fiscal agent"—a third-party group to oversee the group's spending. That group was Inner Thoughts—and the money that the NAFFCCA paid as fees for serving as a fiscal agent went directly into Motley's personal bank account.

Here's what Motley gave by way of explanation: "Rev. Motley said that he believed that the fiscal agent fees received from NAFFCCA were compensation for services he personally provided; therefore, he deposited the funds into his personal account. Rev. Motley said the fee went towards his administrative efforts, and he estimated he spent between four and six hours each month on matters related to NAFFCCA." That works out to at least $202 per hour—not a bad rate.

Investigators also "identified numerous irregularities with regard to the earmark grantees with which Rev. Motley was associated." For one, there's "substantial evidence that Rev. Motley treated earmark funds from all three grantees, including those of the bankrupt NAFFCCA, as one pool of money." That means, for instance, that NAFFCCA earmark checks went into the Inner Thoughts bank account. The funds were then used to pay NAFFCCA expenses to both Jobs Coalition and Inner Thoughts—$48,000 worth. Some of those expenses were paid without the approval of the NAFFCCA board.

The report calls this an "apparent breach of fiduciary duty and self-dealing."

Motley explained to investigators that he thought "Inner Thoughts was entitled to retain grant funds awarded to NAFFCCA so long as Inner Thoughts performed work that was related to the purpose of the NAFFCCA grant."

And here's another gem: "Motley admitted that he manufactured supporting documentation for certain grantee expenses—in some instances, after receiving [the Bennett team's] document subpoena"—including backdated employee timecards and a lease with a fictitious landlord.

In an interview aired yesterday, Motley told WJLA-TV: "These are legitimate entities that were established to provide services to the citizens of Ward 8."

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Comments

  1. #1

    What is so wrong with steering public funds to your friend who, in turn, provides you with a car?

  2. #2

    Lets get an update on the Ted Loza plea deal rather then another Chump Change Report! A 13 year old Mercedes is a luxury car? LL, your frenzy over this Barry thing is beginning to seem like a feint. Maybe a smoke screen for Jim Graham now that your crony and habitual source, Chuck Thies is on his payroll?
    What is the status of the Loza plea deal?

  3. #3

    No Loza plea deal yet. Prosecutors say they're going to file new charges; judge has set a trial date. Not a lot happening with Loza right now, sorry.

  4. #4

    Not on the surface anyway!

  5. #5

    More Barry reaching, pathetic! WCP's obsession with this man can be likened to Fenty's being asked by that channel 4 news anchor "when will the snow be cleared", DUMB, PETTY AND UNNECESSARY!!!!

  6. #6

    Throw ALL the Bastards OUT!!!!!!

  7. #7

    Mo Barry and his hopdee!

  8. #8

    Because he can. If Barry steered that much money to LL, he'd be riding LL's bike whenever he damn well wanted to. Except LL wouldn't take his dirty money in the first place.

  9. #9

    sedcdude: there's nothing petty or pathetic about reporting on Rev. Motley, a man who has political ambitions beyond being a Barry crony.

  10. #10

    Nor is there anything petty or pathetic about reporting how it comes about that the councilmember steers tens of thousands of PUBLIC dollars to an associate who just happens to provide said councilmember with a PRIVATE Mercedes.
    There's no difference between that and the councilmember taking your, mine, and Jason's tax dollars to Hertz. What does a 'Benz rent for on a daily basis, anyway?

  11. #11

    Oh, and mdb, "Crony" really doesn't describe their financial relationship, does it?

  12. #12

    @drez 10.
    And who's paying the insurance?

  13. #13

    I heard Rev. Motley had an "affair" with a 17 year old a couple of years ago. Is this true? Everyone in the community seems to know something about this gossip, founded or unfounded.

    Also, when was the last time the East of the River - Clergy Police was heard from?

  14. #14

    While we're on the subject of cars and drivers, let's not forget that we still haven't had any legitimate explanation about the millions of taxpayer $$$$ steered to Maryland resident Keith Lomax--Fenty's crony and former "chauffeur" (Because I said he is!")--under DC's LSDBC program.

    Oh, and there's that little issue of Lomax engaging in voter fraud in the 2008 DC primary--wonder if he and Fenty whispered that in Obama's ear at the G'town game.

  15. #15

    Did I read the registration information right...has the Benz's registration been expired since 5/2009??

  16. #16

    If he was running as the Ward 8 councilmember this might helf him. Citywide not so much.

    I presume he is the candidate the Stand4Marriage crowd and is running to oust David Catania from the council and that he, like Barry, is a moral man and would be a moral politician. Am I wrong there?

    http://motley2010.com/

  17. #17

    This does seem to be a witch hunt by the WCP.... The only problem is that we all know HE IS A WITCH! Everyday now we read about all the crappy things that Barry has or is doing, but guys we already know he is a shady character. There is a book "Dream City" and a HBO movie about this guy, along with all the other junk you can you can google.

    If you all were to really do some investigative journalism and catch him taking bribes, shredding documents, or anything ILLEGAL everyone would be on board. However you all keep writing about an unethical man being unethical.

    I like the WCP but this is getting silly. FYI I'm sure many people in Ward 8 are driving cars that are registered in other peoples name, it is a very common practice in inpoverished areas

  18. #18

    *Looking at my car registration*

    Nope - it's in my name. :)

  19. #19

    I sometimes drive my wife's car. Given Barry and Motley's stance on gay marriage it seems likely their relationship is somewhat different.
    Wasn't former congressman Duke Cunningham convicted for steering contracts to a defense manufacturer who provided him with access to a yacht, the "Duke Stir", or some such? Cunningham went to jail. How is the relationship between Barry and Motley any different?

  20. #20

    According to the dc.gov online ticket payment system, the car also has $1,205 worth of unpaid parking tickets.

  21. #21

    Shit. DMV better hurry up and void those!

  22. #22

    Not to be a hater (okay maybe a little) but then I have to ask how has it not been booted? I live in the same neighborhood and we get booted. They run through and do scans regularly - I saw a cop car yesterday driving through with the scanners and they went right down Orange Street where Barry lives. In DC with two or more tickets you can get booted and I know they are running tags - especailly downtown. That is probably why the registration is expired - you can't get it renewed with outstanding tickets.

  23. #23

    The Marion Barry Circus rolls on and nobody has the guts to do anything about it. Pitiful.

  24. #24

    TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION BECAUSE HE CANT AFFORD ONE OF HIS OWN. BETWEEN BACK TAXES AND WCP ALL IN HIS SHIT THE BROTHER CANT EVEN GET HIS HUSTLE ON. LOOK MR DEBONIS EVERYBODY GOT 97 BENZOS! THEY GIVEN THOSE MOFO'S AWAY AT EASTERNS AND CAR MAX. NOW IF HE WAS LEANIN BACK IN AN '07 THEN YOU WOULD HAVE A STORY.

    DAMN WCP ALL THIS OVER $15K? I DAMN NEAR BLEW THAT MUCH ON PURP AND GOLD LAST YEAR AND I AINT TALKIN ABOUT THE LAKERS. LOOK YOU CAN SHINE A FLASHLIGHT UP ALL THE COUNCILMEMBERS ASSES (MUCH TO GAYTANIA AND MADAMGRAHAM'S LIKING) AND IM SURE YOU WILL FIND SOME SIDEKICK WASHING MONEY FOR THEM.

    SPEAKING ABOUT ONE THING TALKING ABOUT ANOTHER . . .
    MR DEBONIS ON FEB 5 YOU GAVE THE WCP READERS AN ASSIGNMENT DURING THE SNOWPOCALYPSE. YOU ATTACHED A SPREADSHEET OF SOMESORT REGARDING FAGGIE FENTY'S CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS WITH NAMES, ADDRESSES AND AMOUNTS. WOULDNT IT BEHOOVE YOU TO DO SOME INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM.

    LOOK THIS CITY IS WITHOUT A MAJOR NEWSPAPER THAT IS OBJECTIVE. SINCE WASH CITY PAPER SEEMS LIKE IT IS THE ONLY LEGIT RAG THAT COULD POSSIBLY PULL THIS OFF WITH OUT FOLK THINKING YOU LOVIN FENTY LONG TIME.

  25. #25

    I agree Woodley Parker. What amazes me even more is the fact that so much attention is being directed at Motley! Has everyone completely forgotten about Richardson? Richardson has taken over 100,000.00 in tax payers money, forged signatures and played a huge part in this scandal. Back in July of 2009 I sent Mike Debonis an entire zip drive of info regarding her fraudulent dealings. I have yet to see any of that information printed. I made reference to the fact that both James Bunn and Brenda Richardson were both misusing goverment funds, I even mentioned the fact that Brenda Richardson had her own son unlawfully terminated for no reason. If the intent is to expose the unethical dealings here then everyone should be exposed! I guess Mike Debonis and I didn't see eye to eye on that one!

  26. #26

    I said it and Imma say it again, IF YOU HAVE THE COMPLECTION FOR PROTECTION, you are all good and to think otherwise is to be NAIVE!!

    This cyclical, selective and oversensitized "reporting" (harassment) of Barry and anyone associated with him warrants a minimum of a good ol' fashioned ass whoopin', but since WCP would much rather be "selectively" and discriminatively politically incorrect will have to settle for the power of the bloggasphere!

    This spider web of sorts that WHITES here in DC continue to cast is very dangerous and propagandist! Behind satire is plot, behind comedy is message, behind slandor is something and this slandorous something that WCP continues to blow hard upon is tired, old and PATHETIC!

    I enjoy the "freedom", the satire and the "slickness" of WCP but your propaganda is some straight bullshit! Character assassination 101 with a heavy dosage of Pareidolia!! You turn a blind eye to the REAL CROOKS AND THIEVES, but put on blast the same individuals for doing what's done all day everyday by the WHITE GUYS, BUT IT'S BIZNESS AS USUAL!!!

    When you decide to prove me wrong and to GET REALER, make sure to spread that bullshit thick and heavy because that's the only way you can mak it right, but'chu know what, MY DAD ALWAYS TOLD ME TO NEVER TELL ON MYSELF!!

  27. #27

    We're deep into "THE PLAN" and "SNITCHES GET STITCHES" territory here. Face it, Barry is your disease and your opium and they are one and the same thing.
    There's plenty of knives out for every politician in this town from the mayor on down to the most freshman ANC. Everyone's waiting for everyone to screw up, and Barry just can't help himself. He's his own worst enemy.

  28. #28

    @ Downtown rez

    Back da fuck up and stay in your lane! How's that for "lingo"?

    I'll be the 1st to call a spade a spade, but I won't call 1 chump, 2 chump then 3 chump and then conveniently say, what the hell and what did you expect, they're all CHUMPS when in fact, that ain't the case!!

    This is a fickle city with even more fickle politics, where the fads come and go by the week and loyalty is likened to water and oil! Ain't no nostalgia here and Barry has run his course, but in the long term YOU DREZ AND OTHERS LIKE YOU would very much like to put you foot on the throats of new and improved MARION BARRY'S, he has his issues, BUT HE'S A POLITICIAN, A GREAT 1 who has done some unethical things, PERSONALLY which I'm quite sure you have to!

    You are OUR worst enemy, patient, cunning, manipulative, sneaky and FAKE!

    WE SEE YOU!

  29. #29

    PEEK-A-BOO!

  30. #30

    I'll lend a hand to any new and improved, but all I see or hear is the same old tires BS and excuses.
    But please, enlighten me, who is your idea of "new and improved"? I'd LOVE to know, because a city can't run on faded old memories.

  31. #31

    I'm thinking - a big WCP report on as many shading dealing in the Council as possible. I think some of you guys have a point that WCP can get a little excited about Barry and Fenty but I'm not sure I'm willing to choke it up to racism just yet (full disclosure, I'm half-white).

    I think a big long report on shady dealings from everyone would a.) put all of us, the citizenry, on the same footing and b.) would actually allow us to make more reasonable-looking comparisons.

    Yes, that would be difficult to do and extremely annoying. But the pay-off would be rather immense and, anything worth doing is annoying and difficult.

    Of course, this could already exist and I simply haven't seen it (likely). Good stuff on the car registration and tickets in the comments too, centralize this stuff someone.

  32. #32

    Or jaded, petty knit picking, selective amnesia, turning of blind eyes, covert racism, hidden agendas or exclusivity!

  33. #33

    @ RobShaw

    about as difficult as it is to systematically and categorically tear down, smear, attack and witch hunt specifically, BLACK POLITICIANS, ADMINISTRATORS, NON PROFITS, ORGANIZATIONS AND WHAT EVER THE FUCK ELSE "BLACK" IN THE DISTRICT!!

    Stop faking the funk man, call this sh*t out on your BLACK SIDE, you feel it tingling like a stroke!!!!!

  34. #34

    I am glad someone has decide to mention this as I also heard Rev. A. Motley had an "affair" with a 17 year old a couple of years ago while married

  35. #35

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/12/19/did-d-c-cops-overreact-to-snowball-fight-14th-and-u/#comment-750520

    This is proof right here, specifically #s 300 and 302, all these clownz need is a leader, a burning cross and some white sheets!

    LMAO, I'm exaggerating a little but it's got the target fuel, just needs a match!!!!

  36. #36

    What sort of low standard having motherfucker thinks Barry is good for DC? Get a grip. You're like the guy telling the cop "but they were speeding too!". You just got caught sucka deal with it.

  37. #37

    Keith B.

    I will assume your bitch ass is refering to me YOU GEECHIE DAN ASS MOTHERFUCKER!!

    No one has or is advocating for Marion Barry you clown!

    You are a typical coon, LOUD, OPINIONATED AND WRONG!!

  38. #38

    sedcdude

    new classes now forming. potty mouth training also available

  39. #39

    come on now, this is a cutting edge green car-sharing arrangement I'm sure! lol....

  40. #40

    sedcdude wrote: "YOU DREZ AND OTHERS LIKE YOU would very much like to put you foot on the throats of new and improved MARION BARRY'S, he has his issues, BUT HE'S A POLITICIAN, A GREAT 1 who has done some unethical things, PERSONALLY which I'm quite sure you have to!"

    sedcdude wrote: "No one has or is advocating for Marion Barry you clown!"

    So you can't even remember what your dumb ass wrote right above there. Pass the dutchie on the left hand side.

  41. #41

    @ Keith B

    Exactly, you are who I thought you were, A SIDELINE WHORE who bitches, boot licks and shucks n' jives your way through life! I recognize your faggot ass a mile away and can smell you even closer, now how about you signify and attempt to comprehend these familiar words;
    FUCK YOU DUMB DUMB!!!

  42. #42

    Thank goodness I switched to this channel with my morning coffee.

  43. #43

    Seems like now would be a great time to inact that "Flag this Comment" feature. :)

  44. #44

    The Advoc8te

    Maybe now is a good time for you to kill yourself, terminate internet service or find another public censor free zone to rant and rave!!

    The last time I checked, WCP was the same weekly rag that had this man's picture across its front page with the headline titled, I PUT YOU OUT IN DENVER BECAUSE YOU WOULDN'T SUCK MY DICK emblazened across the front page! If you wanna censor and flag anybody, flag yourself, you and your uppity, pompous attitude towards gutter bucket journalism! Word of advice, you play in trash you shall get dirty!

    It's people like you who enable back room deals and HYPOCRACY; like BERNIE MADOFF who stole billions of dollars dressing, talking and acting the part and turned out to be nothing more than a "common thief"! You wanna fart, but don't expect it to stink, reality check, there is nothing POLITICALLY CORRECT about a weekly rag which contains WILD SIDE, SAVAGE LOVE and other racy editorials!

    Keep hope alive as far as your campaigning for a flag feature, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT while I exercise my freedom of choice, thought, expression and speech right here in the CITY DESK blog!

  45. #45

    u mad, dude? lol

    Good thing you got the internet, cuz it's obvious no one would put up with your shit opinions for ten minutes in real life. And fyi brotha, freedom of speech keeps the government from censoring you. WCP can shut your bitch ass up if they feel like it. You're free to call whine-one-one shorty burning fire.

    Keep rollin wit da punches dude, you're looking good!

  46. #46

    @ Keith B

    Come on up to Bald Eagle and let's throw some punches, head gear and gloves! You know over in the other 'SW'! Ask for O' when you get there, I'm usally there around 6pm, Tues. Thurs and 12noon Sundays, tomorrow!

    "WCP can shut your bitch ass up if they feel like it"

    YOU ARE A SLAVE, in thought, practice and LIFE; and don't even know it! The more you type, the more pathetic you are! If you are not coming to take an ass whoopin', then don't continue to embarass yourself while placing thoughts to screen!

  47. #47

    KEITH B.

    I THOUGHT SO!
    you are white and U R NOT FOOLING ANYBODY! HAD U BEEN A "BROTHA" as you so cornily put it, you would have accepted that challenge! Funny thing is these are the childish and pathetic games played by those who deny the truth! Ayy, I'm all for accountability, but this shit is ridiculous!

    Oh BTW, The Advoc8te, I just saw that cute little flag comment feature over in the SEXIST BLOG, you know where they talk about any and everything related to sex! I can see why you advoc8 4 such pussy pleasures when it's being utilized where pussies talk about pussy! You're advoc8ing in the wrong blog my friend!

  48. #48

    I'm white cuz I couldn't make it down to your sissy ass bar in the two hours between your first and second message? I'll say it again, get a grip. I hope you don't go on like this off the internet, people are going to think you're crazy. You must not be getting enough change in your cup huh man?

  49. #49

    Keith B

    You"re white simply because YOU'RE TRYING TOO HARD!

    Lastly, that's not a bar you fucking idiot! I offered to whoop your ass not drink wit'cha!

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