City Desk

Cathy Lanier Denies MPD Covered Up Adrian Fenty Abuse

Just how bad is Mayor Adrian Fenty's public image these days? Bad enough that WTOP felt free to go ahead and ask Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier whether her department has been covering up domestic abuse by the District's chief executive.

"Actually, those rumors surfaced—I believe—as soon as he began running for mayor, and they've been around ever since," Lanier said on WTOP's "Ask the Chief" radio show Thursday. "Periodically, they will pop back up, but I can tell you without any question, nobody in the Metropolitan Police Department would cover that up. Certainly, I wouldn't cover that up as a district commander."

Which, if you think about it, is kind of amazing. There's a reason, after all, that the first example of an unfair question that comes to mind is, "So when did you stop beating your wife?" Even though Lanier says there's nothing to the rumors, airing them on the biggest all-news radio station in the region isn't exactly helpful. (Fenty himself also addressed those rumors on the radio this week, telling WPGC-FM's Big Tigger that "none of that is true" and it "borders on libel and slander.") Allegations of domestic abuse and a police cover-up—even if they're totally unfounded and easily knocked down—can't be what the Fenty campaign braintrust wants to be talking about right now.

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  • inked

    The amazing thing to me is that this rumor continues to circulate, and some people still swear it's true. The latest iteration I've heard says that the police were called to the Fenty home several times one recent week and that Fenty's wife has moved out of the house to try to escape him. Sorry, but I just don't buy that so many people could keep a secret like that. Oh, and it doesn't just boarder on libel and slander, it IS libel and slander.

  • DCDem

    They are rumors. And, at this stage, they are in such high circulation he would be hard pressed to find where it ever started. Who is the source of libel and slander now that he has broadcast the story. I've heard that it goes back further than when he was running for Mayor but, rather, when he was a sitting councilmember and then-commander Lanier of the 4th District, responded, personally, to the calls to his house. I actually believe it started with officers within the 4th District. More, that she was selected as chief because of her role in keeping it quiet. After all, she was the most junior commander in MPD at the time of her appointment.

    But here is the truth. If more than one person knows a thing, it is not a secret. If officers were called to the Fenty household, then more than one person knows the truth. It will eventually get out, and likely at the most inopportune time for the Mayor.

    It is in the Mayor's best interest to just stop talking about it and giving what he calls a non-story life. There are rumers surrounding everthing from his sexuality to drug use. He ought not be dignifying them unless there is something there to be defensive about.


    I am not a King Fenty fan and I truly dislike him. I never believed these rumors about the King beating his wife. I've heard this since King Fenty ran for mayor against the Queen Bee, Linda W. Cropp. Unfortunately, when you are a politician, muscian, or an actor, rumors will spread all over the place about you.

  • Brahmin

    Don't like him but if the rumors should not be reported as fact.

  • Rick Mangus

    I know a DC Parmedic who says there has been domestic violence at the Fenty house and that Lenier is covering up! This is not rumors, it's fact, stay tune!

  • Cant

    WOW... Im not a fan of his but.... WOW!!!!

    I cant imagine WHO in his campaign thought NOW would be a good time to finally put those rumors to rests. I mean, they have been going around for YEARS. Why dignify them by responding now? It only means those who havent heard about the rumor... now know there is a rumor. And on a holiday weekend at that? Just WOW.... He has taken it from some bs rumors a few said on the blogs to something HE and his cabinet are addressing in the news. Not a good idea.

  • candycane1

    To address this now is silly. It makes me think that as a desperate move they are trying to create a distraction to gain some sympathy or to make some person unaware of the rumor that somehow the opponent's campaign is responsible for it.

  • Truth Hurts

    Fantastic jounalism. Enormous scoop. Can't wait for tomorrow's story: "There's No Truth To The Rumor Vince Gray Secretly Married Jim Graham". Then we can have lots of comments about why Gray is denying the rumors. Maybe interview a spokeperson from Vital Stats: "There is no official record of a Gray/Graham secret marriage".

    Cue anonymous tipster: That why Gray keeps saying Let's Get it On. Yeah, that's the ticket. IDIOTS.

  • Women’s Commissioner

    At some point in this drama, someone has got some photographs or videos of Michelle’s injuries. I think it a little strange that the alleged perpetrator and the alleged law enforcement co-conspirator would step forward to deny the supposed incidents, but no wife standing by her man saying, “He never touched me” and “I am so happy.” Instead you get Fenty and Lanier singing Kumbaya and referring to the wife in the third person.

    Women’s Commissioner

  • Blue Pen

    Except for the last word of his posting, I agree with Truth Hurts. (No need for name calling.)

    Not a story.

    Move on.

  • S.E.

    @Blue Pen: I agree "Not a Story," some have said, why try to deny it now? It's only been around for 3-4 years.

  • Truth Hurts

    Ok, I'll retract the word IDIOTS. It's just this garbage sometimes makes my head explode.

    @S.E.: If, as you write, you agree (tho with doubtful sincerity) it's not a story, why do you follow up with: However, why TRY to deny it now? Because you actually want to keep the nonstory circulating? Or because you didn't realize media members asked Fenty and Lanier these questions during live interviews on consecutive days? Which just might explain "why now".

  • LOL

    Why are reporters covering this? Like him or hate him, there are more issues that Fenty should be asked to address that involve governing the city.

  • gorgeousma

    My friend works in the cell block. He was arrested and it was covered up! Officrs have been to his residence numerous times because he can't keep his hands to himself. No one wants retaliation for stepping up with the truth, he fires people at the drop of a dime!

    One of these days it will not be a secret anymore, he will slip up again

  • sedcdude

    "nobody in the Metropolitan Police Department would cover that up. Certainly, I wouldn't cover that up as a district commander."
    who in sam hell says that, as to imply that "she won't cover that up, but I will cover some shit up" WHICH WE ALREADY KNOW!!!

    "THIS isn't of THAT MUCH IMPORTANCE so WE selectively would not cover THAT up"

    "THAT does not warrant a cover up"

    This is why I don't trust police or politicians, they are mortal, they make mistakes and they are not as noble as the profession SHOULD call for! Mixed that in being byproducts of a generation of entitlement and THIS generation of leadership sucks ass BIG TIME and it shows!!!!!!

  • sedcdude

    "Mixed with being"

  • Ward 6 Voter

    The first time I heard these rumors was in 2006 from a Cropp campaign worker. The next time I heard these rumors was this year and from the same person who is now a Gray campaign worker. Must be a slow day in the campaign of mud slinging.

    I was sorry to hear Mark S. on WTOP join in the game yesterday.

  • not impressed

    This rumor has been runnning for quite some time now. Why does Fenty and Lanier choose now to address it? Why do folks think some campaign started this rumor. It came out of MPD.

  • Monique

    So, my question is -- why did he publicly fire Chief Ramsey before he was even sworn in? Makes me wonder what Chief Lanier "had" to get that position. Ramsey did an EXCELLENT job handling all these nutcases that came to "destroy our city" (World Bank) ...