Loose Lips

The Circus, Sulaimon Brown Style

Sulaimon Brown

Sulaimon Brown says Mayor Vince Gray got him his job as an auditor for the Department of Health Care Finance—and Councilmember David Catania lost it for him.

Those charges, and many, many others, surfaced today when Brown made a surprise appearance at the Wilson Building, just as Gray was giving a briefing to a testy press corps this afternoon, in part about Brown's soon-to-be terminated tenure with the city. And when LL says "surprise," he would like to take what you think that word means and multiply it by five.

Brown, as LL first reported, was escorted out of his office by the D.C. Protective Service this morning, after DHCF Director Wayne Turnage essentially fired him. (Brown will be on paid administrative leave for 15 days before his employment with the District ends. Since he makes $110,000 a year, those 15 days add up to more than $4,500.)

Turnage, who Gray left flapping in the wind with the reporters for a good 30 minutes, says he and Brown had a good conversation before Turnage left to go to the Wilson Building for a budget meeting. Turnage says he was surprised and disappointed to hear from his staff that Brown had to be escorted out of the building. Gray, too, told reporters that he's disappointed that Brown's hiring didn't work out.

Cue Brown, who came into the press briefing room while Gray was answering questions about how open his administration has been. Brown took a seat, and watched until the mayor finished. Then the press, including about half a dozen TV cameras,  circled round and it was party time.

Brown began by praising Gray as an "excellent mayor" and (also) expressed disappointment that he'd been unfairly fired "without respect and without dignity."

After about a minute, Brown started tearing up, while talking about working his way through school and having a "very hard life."

"It's really hard to swallow for some political bullshit—for this guy to look at me and tell me that I'm not a good fit. If I wasn't a good fit, the mayor wouldn't have sent me there in the first place," Brown says.

Judge for yourself, folks—here's Brown's resume, which Gray administration officials handed out at the press conference. LL was surprised to see the resume had no dates on it:

[scribd id=49504052 key=key-150kpxlbrq05bgkyygt9 mode=list]

When asked if he has a criminal record, Brown replied: "I have no criminal record. It was unsub... no, that's not true." He said there was an old trespassing conviction based on "mistaken identity" and being "railroaded" by campus police at Howard University.

Brown next called LL out by name, saying that past articles LL wrote about Brown's past were wrong, and Brown had worked as a campus police officer for Howard and as a police officer for the "District of Columbia government." (Later, when a reporter asked him what years he'd been a police officer, Brown said he didn't remember and directed reporters to his city personnel record.)

Then Brown really thickened the plot by pinning the blame for his firing on Catania, who he said had "threatened" Turnage's job if Turnage didn't fire Brown. "It was either him or me," Brown says, adding that he got his intel directly from Turnage himself. (A bemused Catania later told reporters outside the Wilson Building that he had only advised Turnage that Brown's hiring would likely come up during Turnage's confirmation hearing, scheduled for tomorrow. Catania says he's very impressed with Turnage and doesn't "know Brown from Oprah.")

When asked why he had crashed the mayor's presser, Brown said he came because he deserved to have his side of the story told "and also to be fair to the mayor." Brown then praised Gray again, but said that he was "really disappointed" that the mayor hadn't done more to "quell the situation."

(At this point, if you can believe it, the mayor's press secretary, Doxie McCoy, tried to tell reporters they could only ask Brown one more question. Request denied.)

Brown then strongly implied that the mayor himself was responsible for Brown getting his job, or at least had given his tacit approval. Asked directly if Gray had told Brown he would help him get a job, Brown replied: "I'm going to pass on that question."

Brown also said wanted it known that he had not acted inappropriately in any way, before or during his police escort out of DHCF. LL will try and get more details on that, and several other crazy things that happened today, later.

But for today, that's all folks.

Photo via Brown's campaign website

  • Southeast Ken

    If there's a hell, David Catania deserves to go there. He's mean, evil, and a nasty human being.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Besides an amusing photo of Sulaimon Brown with Joe Biden, you can also see Brown's resume here: -- Topsy.com

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  • Janson

    Sarbanes Oxley, listed in the bottom section of the resume, passed in 2002 and became effective around 2004 for large caps and later for smaller public companies. So if this is the normal reverse chronological then the oldest audit experience cannot be more than seven years ago.

    Anyway. Brown, sorry this happened to you. I wish you less suffering in the future.

  • DUICouncil

    Alan Sunderman,

    Is it a violation of DC government's personnel policies to release an employee's resume to the public. My organization requested, via a FOIA, salary and work history of several DC government employees during Fenty’s term and DC personnel informed us that their resumes couldn’t be released.

  • DUICouncil

    There are no dates on his resume?

  • Richard notRich

    what's with all these guys named Brown? seriously lets face it, I feel sorry for Mr. S.Brown getting caught up like Ruben whats his name, but that's politics, its a cruel game of power. what is weird here? it seems that its cronyism and hard to believe there WERE NO OTHER CANDIDATES for the position in the whole city, let alone the region. I guess it means the economy is really, really, really good here AND the rest of the U.S., and he was the best. Impressed with the District Government under the new regime? wait, it just getting started.

  • Where Other Resumes

    To be fair the staff of mayor gray should release the resumes of the children of his chief of staff, communications director and head shoulder pad czar, so we can see how highly qualified they are for positions paying between $55,000 and $85,000 per year.

  • Mike Madden

    DUICouncil --

    That's at least in part probably because the Fenty administration didn't like to release any information under FOIAs if it was at all possible to avoid.

  • Control Board

    Where is the resume for Cherita Whiting? The one on the website posted in Feb 2010 is not accurate. How does she keep her job after admitting to lying on her application? Okay, so CM Muriel Brown needs to call the DPR Director and tell him he is going to be questioned about her hiring during his hearing. This gives him time to fire her. This is some crazy made for TV crap! Mayor Gray needs to fire all those new hires and start again. Hell, we not a new vote on the Mayor and Chairman. Or just wait until I arrive...I am the CONTROL BOARD and it is obvious that D.C. needs me.

  • Southeast Ken

    This is the Washington Times article about Cherita Whiting.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/16/friend-of-gray-hired-for-dc-job/

    I would like to know about her educational and employment experience.

  • Southeast Ken

    What's so wrong about an ex felon getting a job? Are they supposed to be unemployed or janitors for life?

  • Southeast Ken

    @the fake Southeast Ken; It's alleged, Cherita Whiting didn't put down on her employment application, she's been convicted of a crime.

    No I don't have a problem with ex offenders getting a job, but Gray hiring of this woman is cronyism. What are Ms. Whiting's qualifications as an Special Assistant to start off making $65,000.00? DC taxpayers deserve to know.

    The next time, please be original and pick a different screen name without using mine or others. LOL

    People want to know about Britney Spears and Charlie Sheen. DC voters want to know about Ms. Whiting's educational and employment background. The press went after Sulaimon Brown. They shouldn't discriminate by picking on men. They should go after unqualified females too.

  • Grace Jones

    This is Cherita Whiting online Resume. Pull up to the bumper baby in your long black limosine.

    http://www.resumebucket.com/cwhiting

  • PassTheSmellTest?

    What's so wrong about someone who kept their nose clean being rewarded with a good job in public service? What's so wrong about having the District gov't NOT serve as a job bank for influence peddlers? What's so wrong about having DPR follow the law and conduct proactive background checks on positions in an agency that interfaces with our children? What's so wrong about firing someone who lies on their application to a kids-and-seniors agency about having a rap sheet?

  • @Passthesmelltest

    DPR just fired the Director of South East Tennis and Learning Center and put Cora Masters Barry back in charge.

  • wowza

    so i have delighted in this sulaimon brown story as much as the next person (or more), but you can't have a heart and watch the video of this guy crying at a presser and not get a little misty for the guy.

  • ImissFenty Bumper sicker
  • briefly

    DC should invite Qadaffi to come be mayor, it would be a step up.

    Of course, all this will be dismissed as white racist journalists attacking black folk so lets just get on with our lives.

  • DCDem

    To miss Fenty is to welcome the 600 million dollar deficit we are facing in 2012. No thank you very much. Where is the I Miss Tony stickers?

  • Autumn

    Gray is such an embarrassment to this city. Why do we have such poor leadership at the helm? Brown made a total fool of himself at that press conference!

    STOP HIRING YOUR FRIENDS - HIRE PEOPLE WHO ARE QUALIFIED!!!

    Also, don't hire people with criminal backgrounds to work in government, it doesn't set a good example for a city with a crime issue. It also insults all the honest, hard working people who are qualified and would love to earn $100,000 if given the opportunity.

    I miss Anthony Williams.

  • BallZ

    I miss Anthony Williams.

  • LoveLight

    This is a disgrace ...

  • Southeast Ken

    @Grace Jones; thank you.

  • Terry Miller

    I met S. Brown while he was campaigning. He was a pleasant young guy and he did do a lot of digging at Fenty. But is was all part of what makes elections interesting.

    As a person who has lost a job suddenly and with no valid explanation, I can only feel sorry for Mr. Brown and wish him well.

    I believe that Catania is responsible for his ouster. Catania is vindictive and mean. He is a rabid Fenty supporter and just couldn't stand that a guy who had helped in Fenty's undoing had a decent job. He also fired his longtime constiuents services person because she worked for Gray in her spare time. He said to her, "you like Gray so much, you go work for him."

    I say this whole story is a victory for embittered Fentyites (which includes the media).

  • PassTheSmellTest

    Terry = another person who believes S. Brown passed the smell test. Nothing you can say to a Terry, nothing.

  • Terry Miller

    DearPassTheSmellTest: Everything that I write about comes from my own personal and direct knowledge. Where does your information come from? If you say from reading the Post or LL, then you are relying on news filtered through a third party.

    Does anyone else who has written on this blog have some facts (not allegations) to support their views? I think not. Most of you are disgrunted Fentyites and I think, poor sports.

  • eli

    Alan,
    Is Sulaimon a licensed CPA? Not listed on the resume,pretty strange for a senior accountant.

    Can you verify?

  • Terry Miller

    Oh. And I forgot. There is actually a law in D.C. that protects the rights of ex-offenders. There are supposed to be hired first, and then asked about their criminal background later. If their crime is far in the past, unrelated to their work, etc., they are to be hired. It doesn't look like Cherita's crime would be one that would disqualify her from working at DPR.

    I am not sure what the name of the law is, but some research could be done to find it. (P.S. I am not a proponent of this law, but the law is the law).

  • seDCdude

    WOW, so disrespectful and NEVER would YT allow no triflin' shit as such!

    Very tasteless indeed!

  • Anonymous

    @Terry Miller, really, SM got fired because she was a Gray supporter? Catania sucks. She was so great as a constituents person. She just disappeared off the radar and i wondered what happened to her. Down with Catania next election cycle. I'm sure he's missing her.

  • DCDem

    Autumn/BallZ: I, too miss former Mayor Tony Williams and I wasn't one of those who gave him the blues while in office. Under Williams, a director overspending their budget was a terminable offense.

  • PassTheSmellTest

    - No dates on resume
    - misspelled the school he attended
    - word "health" never appears
    - protective order re: stalking 13yo girl
    - gun snag
    - unlawful entry snag

    All of the above from source documents. Terry seems to think this info is somehow invalidated if presented by CP, Post, NBC Washington, etc.

    = BEST person for $110K gig at ofc responsible for largest single chunk of District change, in the city's worst financial challenge in modern history?

    Delusional. Wannabe. Intemperate. Amateur Hour. Which is what I saw, first hand, at several forums where S. Brown appeared.

    Thx for asking though.

  • Really?

    So we question Cherlita, but it's ok for Skinner and Karim to be given “Fees” for construction contracts and they both had not past their engineering test and aren’t license to do the job? Oh and one was a fomer drycleaner so now we have to see her resume.

    "In addition, the records show, Skinner's firm was a subcontractor on the rebuilding of city parks and recreation centers -- work that paid about $700,000"

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/07/AR2010030701156.html

    $65k x 4 = 260K

  • Don

    Years ago, in Vermont, I found Bernie Sanders behind me in traffic on US Route 7. He was driving a tiny Ford Festiva, the most fuel-efficient car one could buy at the time.

    We need more politicians like him.

  • Rake

    Really, the things you talk about are OVER. Do Skinner and Karim make Brown and Cherita ok? Again, seems like it always comes down to the transitive property with you...

    The Fenty era is done. We're dealing with ONE CITY now, and now this team is under the microscope. If Vince was keeping his myriad campaign promises, we wouldn't be having this conversation, but he isn't, so we are.

    ONE CITY, where it's not wrong now if someone else did it wrong first.

  • seDCdude

    missight RAKE, the thing about those like you and think like you is the fact that now fenty is out and WE can't call him out on the blatant and obvious, you feel entitled and it appropriate to magnify and conjure up any and every "little" mis sight or over sight that YOU deem worthy of the scrutiny, thus revealing your desire to hold this administration accountable to the microscope MISSING from the prior one!

    Give mayor Gray the respect and lee way to carry out and conduct the mayoral leadership it deserves, just as the pimp 4 hire shin dig that got da boot last month!

  • Rake

    So again, let me get this straight - because some feel that the past week has been a debacle for the administration, and have reported on it, they are "magnifying" and "conjuring" (according to you), and since a microscope was "missing" (again, according to you) from the prior administration, we should not question this ONE CITY mess, but rather just let the SUV's be leased, let Sulaimon take his patronage job, let the nepotism hires go unchecked, let folks get paid above the legal maximum for their roles, as a sign of "respect" for "the mayoral leadership"?

    WHAT? You One Citidots would be hillarious, if you weren't moving the city backwards every day.

    I've lived in DC for over 33 years, and this is the least auspicious start to an administration I've seen, with the possible exception of Barry III. Vince has some time to right the ship - on the other hand, Kwame is probably irreparably damaged.

    Hopefully Vince decides to take some decisive action as opposed to sitting around in the Wilson Building, paralyzed by analysis.

  • seDCdude

    That's exactly what I'm saying and what's even more IRONIC is the FACT that you are aware of it...pitiful!

    You can't help yourself, get out man/woman whatever you are and breathe easy!

  • Rake

    Oh, I'm aware of what you are saying, I just didn't think you (or anyone else) would be foolish enough to believe it.

    To wit, you are ok with: let [ting] the SUV's be leased, let [ting] Sulaimon take his patronage job, let[ting] the nepotism hires go unchecked, let [ting] folks get paid above the legal maximum for their roles, as a sign of "respect" for "the mayoral leadership".

    I'm so glad I coined the term "One Citidiot", because it certainly applies. I breathe easy every day, but don't suffer fools gladly.

    BTW, look up the definition of irony, plz.

  • Terry Miller

    Anonymous:

    The answer to your question about SM is yes!

  • seDCdude

    You are the definition of IRONY and lastly you typed all that BS ^^^^^^, not I!

    Please don't attempt to position yourself as the proponent for literary perfection, the purveyor of perspective because your PETTY mental fails your cause!

    Epic fail at RAKE the fake, GTFOH!

  • Rake

    Uh, not so fast. Post 37, I state your argument (hence "you". Post 38 you agree and take ownership "that's exactly what I'm saying". Post 39, I quote my words (which you stated agreement with in post 38) back to you. Simple chain of events. Have some reading comprehension. If those are your views, own them. Don't fall apart when they are spit back to you and you don't like the result.

    Epic Fail?! Only on your end. Enjoy your weekend.

    I make no attempt at literary perfection, just civilized discourse.

  • seDCdude

    Nope @ RAKE, that is YOUR SPIEL!

    Too easy!

    Over the w/e figure it out and get back to me on the southside, you know the part of DC inclined to being overlooked, underfunded, misrepresented, frowned upon, undereducated and AVOIDED.....your comprehension ain't all that paat'na!!

  • seDCdude

    Uh, not so fast @ RAKE da fake, post 36, I told YOU about yourself and those that think like YOU, BASED UPON your obvious nit picking, selective amnesia, BIAS and hypocrisy, which seems to define proFENTIers and #35, causing YOU to post your SARCASM, red herring and "dressed up" RHETORICAL/known answer questions which IRONICALLY, I addressed in #38 prompting YOU to then become CONDESCENDING #s39/42 because YOU KNOW THAT I know that YOU are a FRAUD!

    Peace n da Middle East!

  • DaddyGraceFishSandwich@yahoo.com

    This week has been a circus at the Wilson Building staring Kwame Brown as the lead actor. Kwame showed his immaturity, ignorance, and his being a materialistic human being.

    Kwame Brown shouldn't have been voted in as the DC Council Chair, but disgusted DC voters like myself didn't have a great selection to choose from. It was between the idiot Kwame and the other pimp, former Ward 5 DC Councilmember Vincent Orange.

    I am sick of all of these idiots sitting inside the Wilson Building. Mayor Vincent Gray is a big disappointment in my and other DC voters eyes, but we were glad to get rid of the former dictator Adrian Malik Fenty. Now we are stuck with another politician not caring about his constituents. It's all about me, me, me, with most politicians.

    DC voters should take to the streets like the people in Egypt and over throw the Wilson Building and run Vincent Gray, Kwame Brown, Jim Graham, Jack Evans, Mary Cheh, Muriel Bowser, Harry Thomas Jr., Tommy Wells, Yvette Alexander, Marion Barry, Phil Mendelson, David Catania, Michael Brown, and Sekou Biddle out of the Wilson Building.

    Disgusted DC Voter

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  • SameoldDC

    How about just bring back the DC Control Board. Its obvious DC can't handle things without it. Please prove me wrong.

  • dcresident

    As a new DC resident and homeowner, I'm so disappointed in V. Gray. This story damages his One City slogan and returns the pay-to-play slogan I believe Sulaimon Brown. I believe Gray was fully aware of cash payments. I believe Gray promised him a job. But what's unclear is what/who tipped Sulaimon's boss off about his minor record. Was it a Fenty supporter, the media, or yet another Gray pay-to-play supporter whom didn't not get a 100K job? Hmmm!

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