Loose Lips

Mayor to Try Again With Water Board Nominee

Mayor Vince Gray is set to push, again, for lobbyist Rod Woodson to join the influential D.C. water board of directors, according to city sources.

Gray nominated Woodson to the post last year, but that effort was derailed by potential conflict of interest issues and opposition from labor groups. Woodson works at the firm Holland & Knight, which is a major player in land-use and development issues in the District and represents several deep-pocketed landowners who probably don't want to see their water rates raised to pay for D.C. Water's $2.6 billion let's-stop-pumping-sewage-into-the-area's-rivers effort. Holland & Knight also represents contractors who are trying to undo the union-friendly First Source law.

A union official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, says City Administrator Allen Lew recently met with top labor leaders to secure their support for Woodson's nomination. The board has two vacancies, and Gray could appease labor interests by appointing a union official to the other open spot. Gray recently picked Jos Williams, Metropolitan Washington Council of the AFL-CIO,  to join the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's board shortly after nominating D.C. Chamber of Commerce boss Barbara Lang to the same board.  A spokesman for the mayor would only say the Gray administration is "in the process of reviewing candidates and will make an announcement shortly." Woodson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Ward 6 Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells, who explained his opposition to Woodson's appointment last summer by saying that he does "not see how a partner at Holland & Knight isn't business at usual," said he'll keep an "open mind" on whether Woodson's nomination deserves a second look.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Corn Cobbler

    Woodson probably promised Tommy Tosspot an open tab.

    Why would we expect anything different from Gray? He has got to push, its called getting while the getting is good.

  • Drez

    More headlines with the words "Mayor" and "water board", please.

  • duh

    @drez, you want the mayor of washington, dc to be tortured? that's pretty sick.

  • truth hurts

    Groundhog Day in one city. Nominate a lawyer lobbyist campaign contribution bundler to a board that makes decisions affecting the lawyer lobbyist campaign bundler's clients, clients that heavily finance the mayor's campaigns.

    All together now, sing: "That's the way we like it, uh huh, uh huh...."

  • Drez

    Only 'till he's no longer Mayor.
    I think of it as The Machen Treatment

  • You Mad

    Funny how Gray wants to appoint someone who is involved with a big player in the city, days after he shuts down the CBE deal when a big player cheated.

    You might as well sell Pussy if your prostituting your power to the companies

  • duh

    @drez, you sound like a bitter republican. get over it. it's pathetic.

  • Drez

    Lol. No, not guilty as charged. It's that I just don't like crooks.
    Funny how you would imagine that makes me sound republican.

  • truth hurts

    OCF records show Woodson and his firm have funneled a lot of money to a lot of DC pols over the past 6-7 years. Since 2006, Gray and Orange appear to be their favorites in terms of total bucks. Catania, Barry, Alexander, Mendo, Bowser, Evans, and others also have collected multiple checks. Now Gray's rewarding him and his firm's developer clients the one city way.

    Will DC voters ever elect ethical politicians with the stones to ban lobbyist, contractor, and corporate money from deciding public policy?

  • nowaitadaminit

    @ Duh:

    Drez meant to say: 'It's that I just don't like crooks' except Adrian Fenty.

  • Drez

    Gray has had close friends and top staff indicted, Fenty has not.
    Gray is the target of a major federal investigation, Femty is not.
    Do the math.

  • seeseehpounder

    Who would eliminate the poop smell from the DC Water plant? If not eliminate it, at least point it in the direction of MD where it belongs. Union or Lobbyist, what's the difference? Both just sit there and interfere with progress to get their own little slice of the pie. Everyone involved are crooks, the Mayor included with their hands in the peoples' piggy bank. So who cares which crook gets the bigger slice, I just don't want to smell their shit across the river.

  • Pingback: Four more years?

  • Really?

    Fenty had a the Atty General Peter Nickles aka godfather who protected his butt from many many legal troubles...Gray does not.

    BTW did we ever get to the bottom of the tens of thousands of dollars Michelle Fenty received from the Anacostia Waterfront Project in 2006? God Daddy Peter was supposed to open the books, but......

  • D_rez

    You can keep telling yourself that and keep implying wrongdoing. However, Fenty and Nichols have been gone for over 2 years now, with no investigations let alone indictments, pleas, or convictions coming to light after-the-fact.
    People often accuse me of being ideological in this. But a plain view of the record supports my POV.
    The sooner Gray is indicted and we can continue to make progress toward honest and ethical government the better.

  • Really?

    D_rez and you know why there weren't any investigations or chargers filed? It's because there was/is a clear system that has protected his ass.

    Nevermind that Fenty hung with a former criminal who receive millions in city funding that didn't have deliverables. Matter of fact he worked on his de facto on the campaign.

    Nevermind that Fenty wanted to stack the PERB board with his buddies. Hell the majority of nominees were unqualified friends.

    Nevermind the list is way too long.

    D-rez you've been snookered by the media (i.e. the Washington Post and Washington City Paper aka Fenty’s PR machine). But once you’ve peeled back the layers under that administration your eyes sting and tears begin to roll as you realize how dishonest and unethical it was.

    I’m tired of is this “fake” outrage. That somehow things were cleaner, honest, and pure under the last administration.

    Fenty benefited from having a God Father as the Atty General and a fairy God Mother under Joanna Amaro.

  • Drez

    That clear "system" is best described as staying on the right side of the law.
    You can believe otherwise- that Armao and Colby and Stewert and DeBonis and all the other WaPo and CP and Times and Examiner and AP and NPR folks are party to some vast ongoing conspiracy led by an attorney from Great Falls- but that's not born out by any facts.
    Unlike other well reported events alleged, charged, and pleaded guilty to. And yet others still being investigated.