Loose Lips

Gerri Mason Hall Sacrificed To Gods of Politics

Well, someone had to go, and it wasn't going to be the mayor.

After weeks of embarrassing news that largely stemmed from hiring people with questionable backgrounds and giving jobs to the children of his top aides, Mayor Vince Gray today announced that he had "requested and accepted" the resignation of his chief of staff, Gerri Mason Hall. (Paul Quander, previously the deputy mayor for public safety, is now acting chief of staff.)

Gray, speaking this afternoon at the third hastily called news conference of his infant administration (scheduled 20 minutes ahead of time, and only a few hours after a regularly scheduled one), praised Hall as an "outstanding professional" whom he had known for 20 years. He didn't articulate a precise reason why Hall was being shown the door, other than mentioning "issues around personnel."

The mayor also indicated that Hall herself thought it would be best to resign so the administration could move past all the recent "distractions" and "move on."

But can the Wilson Building really move on if Hall isn't the source of all the recent troubles? Sure, Hall has a background in H.R. and should have done a much better job protecting Gray's flank against stupid stuff like getting her kid a city job.

But it'd be foolish and unfair to try and pin all the blame on Hall. Plenty of Gray aides and friends have fallen down on the job, and the big man himself also deserves his fair share of criticism.

"Ultimately, the mayor has to make the decisions," said Gray, who has a reputation of something of a micro-manager.

Gray said he "certainly hopes" that canning Hall will help restore public confidence in his administration, but that seems like a pipe dream.

LL never got the impression that Hall was the driving force behind Gray, which would mean she's not the driving force behind all the screw-ups that have occurred. A political newcomer who was seen as Gray confidante Lorraine Green's eyes and ears at the Wilson Building, Hall seemed like a low-key, behind-the-scenes kind of aide.

She certainly wasn't like Peter Nickles, former Mayor Adrian Fenty's attorney general, who practically ran District government and was frequently called on to resign by Fenty's foes.

Hall seems like a convenient scapegoat for Gray to dump and make a show of turning the page. LL can't precisely identify what the real problem with the Gray administration is yet, but it ain't Hall.

Comments

  1. #1

    She's a scapegoat. I'm sorry to see her go. She's a very nice lady, perhaps too nice for that job.

  2. AnotherDCResident
    #2

    The problem with the administration is Gray himself. Duh. He's the one who made the poor hiring decisions in his inner circle. He also has a serious communications problem. Again, his poor hiring decisions led to all the controversy. He could have staved off much of the bad press if he had a competent communications team. But what's the rush, right, he has four long years to let us down.

  3. #3

    Is the Director of HumanResources i.e. Judy Banks the ultimate hiring authority another close friend of Lorraine Green.

  4. #4

    Hall should have taken the GREEN line out.

  5. ghettofriendsareclowningdrowninghim
    #5

    Gray is clearly not ready to make tough decisions as Mayor. And with the city in crisis on many fronts, we need a Mayor who has the confidence and strength to make well informed, fair, and hard decisions to put us back on the right course. This does not bode well for the serious budget decision that Gray has ahead of him.

    Man up Vince. Be Mayor -- not the janitor who keeps getting caught, like a deer in headlights, picking up all the garbage that his staff (and so called "friends") should be more vigilant about.

    Set up your own news site, like the Obama Administration, and don't rely on the biased press to set, spin, and deliver your message for you. Your press briefings need to be streamed on the home page of DC.gov and archived. If your tech staff can't do that for you, you need to make some more serious cuts and hire the talent who can do the job. Do this for your own sake and the sake of your constituents.

    And my my my hasn't CM Evans — who was so silent during all of Mayor Fenty's spending sprees — found his voice? Some people have given too much credit only to Peter Nickles....

  6. #6

    Sorry Mrs. Hall had to take the Fall! She is Not the real problem! Ms. Green is the Big Problem.

    Mr. Gray for the sake of the City let all of Lorraine Green`s family and friends go!

    Since you are cleaning house.....Ms. Whiting, Ms. Green`s daughter, Mr. Lew, Ms. Webb, Ms. Bank and other cronies needs to be shown the door! If you do not.....this Drama will only get worst!

    Sorry but I had to add this drama:
    Ok by the way......Do not VOTE for Mr. Bibble!

    Please ride the back of Yvette Alexander .....is a Hot Ghetto Mess! Loser and Thief!

  7. #7

    Hello City Paper, what about Cherita Whiting? Shouldn't she too be fired or terminated? It's alleged the ex felon lied on her DC Government application about never being incarcerated.

    The Soap Opera continues in 'As The World Turns DC Upside Down'.

  8. #8

    Next on the firing line needs to be DOCTOR Linda Wharts-Boyd. What a disaster of a press operation she's leading.

    Dawn Slonneger must be enjoying how karma is biting Gray in the ass.

  9. #9

    and what is happening with Harry THomas investigation? WHY is this man still running bus as usual when we all know he is the master crook after Marion Barry?
    Why is Cheh getting herself involved with these crooks? Why does he protect them? Some deal must have been done because it makes no sense that she was so outrage about Fenty's missteps with the law but she doesnt move one finger to clarify Harry THomas situation or Gray's.
    Something is up in this thing.

  10. #10

    The "real" reason that LL can't precisely identify what the real problem with the Gray administration is yet, is because there are so many dirty deals being made behind the scenes and still the driving force is Lorraine Green.

    Does anyone think that where these children and Sulaimon Brown were placed was random; to the contrary, these placements were very strategic.

    What Mayor Gray needs to do is identify "every" person that Lorraine Green and company "promised" a job and delivered a job to and then check their qualifications. Hire a "private" "independent" auditor who will do all of the background checks and reference checks and then whoever is found to have "inflated" their qualifications should be on a fast track OUT of the Gray Administration.

    Good government starts with a transparent government. To ensure transparency Mayor Gray needs to get rid of all those "Green Appointments" Judy Banks, Linda Wharton-Boyd, and yes, Lorraine Green's daughter would have to go as well, if her qualifications are questionnable.

    I am not one of those who beleive that Mayor Gray should not be able to appoint whomever he wants, however, whomever he chooses to appoint must be qualified for the position that they hold. This is done in every administraiton in the political arena however, the governing leader should be making those selections and NOT an outsider, ie., Lorraine Green. Mayor Gray and Lorraine Green forgot who the residents of the District of Columbia are governed by and who many voted to be governed by and that person is Vincent C. Gray and not Lorraine Green.

    Every political candidate in this city should remember that you do not dienfranchise your "most loyal volunteers", ie. your base. You don't allow your base to be dessimated by an outside third party. That is the lesson that Mayor Gray did not learn; he abdicated his role as Mayor and grateful candidate to Lorraine Green and she proceeded to "sh!t" on Mayor Gray's base of loyal supporters in his home ward and throughout the city.

  11. #11

    So, the sacrificial lamb is not enough? Do you have any idea what will happen if Linda Green goes? marion barry and CM Navigator will no longer have the inside track, because sources will not be as readily available to know what contracts are available.

    My Irish Limerick for the City- recall Fenty's logo was green:

    Poor Mr.Gray,he had his say-that Fenty was bad,
    But we have all been had.
    It was not Fenty,
    He had good people a plenty,

    It was that Peter Nickles guy,
    and may i be wry?
    A good lawyer is he, no doubt he would say
    And he sure had a lot of clout of which to play.
    So hubris was his game,
    And to tell Nickles to stop, Fenty was lame.

    So the good Chairman did run,
    Saying he would be a better top gun.
    Run he did and good people he dismissed
    And many a good soldier in the administration was pissed.
    Gray could have been good and
    he would if he could,
    But he surrounded himself with the regular same fools
    & Ward 7 and 8 ghouls.

    And around january 1,
    They drove in new Lincoln's after their run

    They got caught being regal
    And a part of it was illegal.

    Now March is here, what went wrong?
    And gerry mason hall has now gone,
    But around the corner comes spring
    Who knows what April will bring?

    It wont be good, we all know that,
    We just have to wait to see who gets caught chewing the wilson building fat.
    Will it be KBrown, Sbrown, Barry, or Gray?
    It does not matter tomorrow its saint PATTYS DAY!

  12. #12

    Southeast Ken, find another target. Cherita is not a very serious threat.

  13. #13

    @Tony; I am not targeting Cherita Whiting. I don't know the woman, but if the media is going after S. Brown and not Cherita Whiting, this would be considered sexist correct? They both are black so it can't be racist. Women wanted equality to men and they should be treated the same as men who allege to commit crimes.

    @Tony are you a supporter or friend of Ms. Whiting in Ward 4 D.C.?

  14. #14

    Tony, what do you mean?
    I actually agree with Southeast Ken and I find quite strange that nobody talks about her...like nobody talks about Harry Thomas.
    The residents of Ward 5 had enough with Tommy and team Thomas and need explanations. Nobody in this administration listens, nobody cares, this government moves slower than on strike and because of all of the dramas, we can't even get to discuss city services.

    Still, we need explanations why nothing is happening with Harry or Cherita. If all what we are going to try to resolve for now are the scandals, then Cherita and Harry are on the list.

  15. #15

    "Somebody had to go, and it wasn't going to be the mayor" - Not yet, anyway.

    Vince is unwilling to accept any responsibility - no surprise. But Lorraine Green still remains in her position of influence - nothing has changed.

    Interesting timing though - Gerri leaves just in time to miss her appointment with Mary Cheh and the council. Wonder what Vince didn't want her to discuss?

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

  16. #16

    @Wardfive; I am with you on that charlatan Harry Thomas he needs to go.

  17. #17

    I agree with wardfive & Southeast Ken!

    Like I said before.....When cleaning house you must get rid of all the dirt or diry bags.

    Anyone connected to Lorraine Green needs to go!

  18. #18

    @Wardfive and SouthEast Ken: 100% agree

  19. #19

    @Wendy Washington, absurd, Me4DC: any idea where the Harry Thomas investigation is?
    That guy is a total crook.

  20. #20

    Are Vincent Gray and Lorraine Green one and the same person?
    Sure, maybe some people have "seen them together", but I'll bet that's just a trick done with Mirrors.
    If Green is the problem, than Gray is the problem....

  21. #21

    Somebody must be connected and protected from the media. The Times deleted some comments on their first Ms.Whiting story when a commenter put hi-profile names in what they claimed to know about her. No more comments could be posted after that happened.

  22. #22

    Cherita Whiting is a hot combustible mess and when the lid is blown off her pot, somebody is going to get scorched and burned. There is absolutely no way she should be still employed or at the very least, not under investigation and certainly not by the Gray Administration or DC Council. I happened to read the comments that were deleted and to be quite honest, there was nothing printed I hadn't heard before. Matter of fact, the half has not been told. I'm not going to be the one to scale this fish but trust and believe, it's as scaly as a beached whale with a bad case of enzema. Truth is, I am willing to wait until the FBI conducts its "assessment" and start to connect the dots and we all will see just quick her bad weave unravels. Given those hideous nails, you know her hands are not clean.

  23. #23

    LOL@itsjustamess

  24. #24

    Harry Thomas must be involved in the Cherita deal. Jonetta once wrote a story that showed how low the guy is. If she is in DPR, he is involved. The current DPR Director is a puppet of the administration and Harry Thomas does anything he wants there. DPR is the worst agency in the district and Cherita is in her element there.

  25. #25

    Is Gray's damage control out of control? Is he replacing a problem with a problem? Quander was not council vetted or approved by that body, he was given a created position with this adminstration and his history is not without imperfections in public safety and HR too. The facts are Gray and his "lose the guilt group" are trying to blur the realities with shifts in their circle and it's predictable. Sometimes heat is more advantages than light, amp it up. Where is that Quander clutch gene.

  26. #26

    @DCresident:
    HT,jr need to go also! He is a dirt bag as well! It is such a shame that it seems that he has gotten away with his TEAM THOMAS money laundering scheme!

    What about that NO GOOD Yvette Alexander and her lying and cheating.... closet eater? She is hiding and stealing from the people in WARD 7! What about her boy Derek Ford.
    Check Yvette Alexander and Derek Ford out.....this will be a story worth reporting! They (Y Alexander & H Thomas) already made deals with the devil (Walmart)! Like it or not Walmart is coming to Ward 7 and 5. Scumbags!

    Mayor Barry...No offense....he needs to retire and hide under a rock! He is no good for WARD 8 or DC as a whole!

    Mayor Gray and his crew....where should I began? Hold up...get rid of LORRAINE GREEN and things will calm down!

    Fenty.....what a joke and crook!

    Mr. Sekou Biddle is with the good ole network!
    Sekou Biddle = Kwame Brown!
    Vote for Mickey or Minnie before Sekou!

    To be honest, As a DC resident.....I think we need to clean house of all of these corrupt people. Vote with your head and not emotions!

    Sorry for all the rambling but it makes me mad! I fell used and abused!

  27. #27

    FIRE CRYSTAL PALMER!

  28. #28

    Harry Thomas-Ivette Alexander, both need to go. What they have in common:
    1. the low IQ
    2. neither one can read
    3. their love for McDonalds
    4. no hair

    Who's better? Harry!
    Because he is the biggest snake, crook, lier scum we have ever seen in council in DC.

  29. #29

    Both the F.B.I. and the U.S. Attorney's office should be investigating former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown, Miss Jim Graham, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr., Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans.

    Ward 4 D.C. Councilwoman Muriel Bowser chair the committee that oversee Parks & Recs. I've heard a rumor, there's bad blood between Bowser and Cherita Whiting. Bowser may be laying low to come back at Cherita like a hurricane. Muriel Bowser was a Fenty supporter and it's alleged, Cherita Whiting made attacks against former Mayor Adrian Fenty.

    Miss Jim Graham need to be sharing a cell with his former Chief of Staff Ted Loza. I don't know what to say about Ward 3 D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh.

  30. #30

    You can throw D.C. At-Large Councilwoman David Catania into the mix too. I suspect, the majority of D.C. politicians are corrupt and should be stand on trial with former P.G. County Executive Jack Johnson.

    Somebody told me, they saw Kwame Brown several months ago in the audience at the BET Awards on television. Kwame likes to live large by being a 'PIMP' in his black on black Navigator.

  31. #31

    I found these articles that mentions Cherita Whiting. One is on the CBS evening news discussing education. The other is on the termination of S. Brown. In the author's article, he mentions, the Ward 4 Councilwoman doesn't like Ms. Whiting. Man, this really is a soap opera.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4174545n&tag=related;photovideo

    http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/152344.page

  32. #32

    I had 2 links to provide that mentions Ms. Whiting, but the City Paper wouldn't let me provide them.

  33. #33

    It is true that Kwame was in the audience during the BET Awards and I wondered what he was doing there.

    Again, I have to ask LL -- where is the follow-up on Sillyman Brown's six run-ins with the law?

  34. #34

    re: ghettofriendsareclowningdrowninghim

    DC Webcasts are already linked off of the dc.gov home page. You can go to "DC Webcasts" on the right hand side of the page and go to channel 16 streaming, council hearings and mayor's press briefings. The look has changed, but those links have been available off the home page for over 8 years.

  35. AnotherDCResident
    #35

    @SEKen - It's no secret Cherita "Fraudulent Checks" Whiting was pro-Gray and not shy about it. There are no "allegations" about that. It's 100% true.

  36. #36

    The Gray Administration is screwed-up. I voted for Gray, and I'm glad Fenty is gone. But GRAY is a big disappointment. A couple of example:

    ALLEN LEW is getting paid $290,000 whiel he plans to cut the City's budget. Furloughs for secretaries. Yet, he dares to call himself a "public servant." Lew woudl not make that much money in the private sector.

    GRAY's FOOLISH HIRING. Too much to write about here. We all know that Gray's personnel decisions have been a debacle.

    GRAY's CHIEF OF STAFF. She was making $200,000. Again, we're ina recession. Gray tells taht City people that they'll ahve to make sacrifices and taxes will ahve to go up. But he's giving this kind of money to his top people. Outrageous.

    Sad.

  37. ghettofriendsareclowningdrowninghim
    #37

    @dc webcasts

    Replace the weak javascript image gallery on the home page with Mayor's video briefings. The image gallery can run below. His briefings, at the very least, need to be archived and probably available as video podcasts as well. Citizens should be able to easily access those clips on their pda's (and ipads) where many of us spend a lot of time. It's 2011... govt should step up and reach out to the people where they live.

    Danke vielmals

  38. #38

    Ward4ever,

    re Lew, you are completely wrong. Allen Lew is just about the only senior administrator in this city actually worth having. The man has pretty succesfully managed about 12 billion dollars worth of construction projects in the District the past decade or so (Convention center, schools reno, stadium etc). The man manages with an iron first, is experienced and fair

    As someone with about the same experience as Lew and who manages similar scale projects for private companies, he could easily get another couple hundred grand a year on the private side. Some of the worlds largest contractors (Turner, Clark, Skanska) would scoop him up in an instant for 400-500K a year.

  39. #39

    Is this an example of how the anti-Fenty folk acted? If so, G_d help us all because this is going to be a long, rough, four years of this crap.

  40. #40

    Now that I think about it. While the behavior and irrationality may be similar, at least the anti-fenty crowd gave Fenty 2 years to fk it up. These loons haven't granted Gray one month of benefit of doubt.

    HipHopHooray OHHHH for the Anti-Fenty team for granting their nemesis...........time!

  41. #41

    Ward 3, you are absolutely right re: Lew. He's one of the only solid leaders Vince has on his team - I almost wonder if keeping him was by accident, given what a crew of clowns Vince has surrounded himself with. And you're right about the contractors scooping Lew up for that much money, but you forgot two important words - "plus bonus". Trust me.

  42. #42

    It is odd that Lorraine Green is not officially on the city payroll yet she leverages a great deal of influence over the Mayor's decision making. You cannot fire one who doesn't work for you.

    To restore stability to this Administration, Mayor Gray needs to roll back the salaries of his cabinet to the levels they were under Mayor Anthony Williams, professionally distance himself completely from Lorraine Green, hire and empower a chief of staff, not necessarily from the District, that has a stellar reputation of being ethical, competent and no-nonsense (maybe even a republican), finalize the appointments to his cabinet (no more of this iffy 'interim' business) and, most important, hire a competent, well respected, professional communications director.

  43. that this was over
    #43

    Looks like more of the same. Why isn't the City Paper doing what it does best!

  44. #44

    @DcRez - of course Vince should do all of those things you mention - generally it's part of a larger plan implemented and circulated when a new executive takes over a division of a company or an entire company.

    But what about Vince's past leads you to believe that he's even thought about those things? It's not like he's ever been a successful exec before (quite the opposite)...and we are still waiting for all cabinet positions to be filled as well as the announcement of the "200 day plan" - I kid, I kid.

    One City, one big mess.

  45. #45

    I am very disappointed with Vince Gray. Gerri Hall was not the problem. Vince Gray is being controlled by Lorraine Green. Lorraine Green is the one that needs to go immediately. Vince was well aware that his staff's family, and friends were being hired and given high rediculous salaries. I believe Sulumon Brown is telling the truth and has been treated very cruel and unfair. It's too early in the Vince Gray administration for all this crap. I am so disappointed. Vince has deceived us and this city is in trouble. Where can we find good leadership? Only God knows.

  46. #46

    lol@Drez, wait, you don't want the current chancellor to have the same pay of 275k as the last one? HA!

    Oh noooooo, you want her salary to be at the same level it was prior to Fenty. Priceless. Priceless. Priceless!

  47. #47

    SEis4ME…Thank you….two and half years is right.

    @Southeast Ken…alleged. You didn’t see her waving bye bye with the Fenty poster on channel 9?

    The outrage is too funny family member outrage…like Fenty’s Godfather Peter Nickles?

    Puppets? Biddle =brown well does Muriel=Fenty.

    It’s true that KB was in the audience and that’s because he friends with one of the husband of a former BET host….that many men used to salivate over.

  48. #48

    SEis4ME
    Me, drez, is not the same as whoever is DCRez.
    Personally, I think a good case can be made for having top staff (MPD, Schools, CA) be paid above the cap.
    Council needs to approve, though.

  49. #49

    Oh snap! My bad homie.

    One of you needs to get another handle because the other is making you both look looney. :)

  50. Southeast Resident
    #50

    No one should be paid above the cap. These folks are subject to getting performance bonuses. Let them get their extra cash that way, if they are good enough. But watch out for the numbers manipulation that the Fenty folks were famous for in awarding unwarranted bonuses. Council was foolish to allow paying $275,000 to Ms. Rhee when she had not proven squat, in addition to not being an experienced head of a school system. Remember she could not even count the money right! It may not look good for Ms. Henderson in not receiving the same base salary or even sustaining a salary above the cap, but you should not compound an error. Plus we can't really afford it.

    Ms. Hall was not an experienced chief of staff. Plus she made over the cap. It was going to be tough justifying her serving in that position. It's called cutting your losses.

    That interim HR Director Ms. Banks should forget about having permanent next to her name with this mess with hiring and salaries.

    Also, Council will certainly never approve Lorraine Green being appointed to the paid vacancy as head of the Sports Commission with the mess that the Gray Administration is in.

    The Gray Administration needs to reach out for some GS-15 Feds who are willing to come in and take over the important jobs. He can then stuff the lower level true vacancies and boards and commissions with his friends and cronies.

  51. #51

    @SEis4ME: The loony one is the chick that opted to give birth to you retard.

  52. #52

    I became disappointed in Adrian Fenty and I am disgusted with both Vincent Gray and Kwame Brown. Politicians can no longer be trusted and they don't represent the voters. Most are corrupt and they represent themselves and lobbyists.

  53. #53

    The Rainbow Coalition - Gray, Green, Brown -
    should all fire themselves.

  54. #54

    Dumbest line of the year: "LL can't precisely identify what the real problem with the Gray administration is yet"

    I'll lend LL a hand: THE REAL PROBLEM WITH THE GRAY ADMINISTRATION IS VINCE "ONE CITY" GRAY. Dumbass.

  55. #55

    Congress is now looking into Mayor Gray's alleged corruption.

    http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2311005

  56. #56

    @itsjustamess; maybe the City Paper is afraid of Chuck Brown and gangsta Rappers. LOL LOL

    I forgot the 12 inch finger nails painted different colors. How ghetto can one be for having 12 inch finger nails that curl up. LOL

    I once seen a DC female police oficer with purple hair and 12 inch curled up finger nails. How in the hell can she type on a computer? LOL

  57. #57

    @itsjustamess: LL...if you are Scared say you are Scared to write the story on Cherita Whiting! What is the big deal?....you always dig up other peoples diry laundry!

    Writing a story on Ms. Whiting will add to the soap opera drama already being played out!

  58. #58

    Cherita Whiting OWNS Loose Lips.

  59. #59

    DCRez - You said, "Cherita Whiting OWNS Loose Lips. I say, "Cherita Whiting's own lips are loose!" lol

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