Loose Lips

Mendelson Wants to Reprimand Graham, Who Is Suing Ethics Board

The current forecast for Monday: 100 percent chance of Grahamstanding.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announced today that he wants the Council to reprimand Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and strip him of oversight responsibilities of the city's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. The move comes weeks after the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability issued a critical report of Graham's behavior on two lucrative public contracts. A vote on whether to reprimand Graham is set for Monday.

Graham says he's not seen Mendelson's news release yet and could not comment on it. But he did say that his lawyers are filing a lawsuit and seeking a temporary restraining order this morning against the ethics board, who Graham says violated his rights to due process by issuing a negative report without having a full hearing.

In his announcement, Mendelson notes that the ethics board's findings mirror those of an independent investigation commissioned by Metro's board of directors and the city's inspector general.

"The Council finds, from two years of controversy, the three investigations, and widespread public comments, that Councilmember Graham's actions have adversely affected the confidence of the public in the integrity of the District government," says Mendelson's proposed resolution.

Update: Here's a copy of Graham's lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order:

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Amen

    Ding Dong, the witch is dead, the wicked witch, the wicked witch is dead!!!!

  • Anonymous

    "Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up"

  • NE John

    What does this mean? Does he get forty whacks from the gauntlet of the council using the holy District of Columbia oak paddle?

    Owwww, thank you sir may I have another!

  • Alf

    Don't count out the Evil Queen yet.

  • NE John

    We must consult Gandolf.

  • truth hurts

    Grosso issued a statement supporting Mendo's resolution, saying it's about time. Anything yet from other CM's?

  • drez

    If Graham loses his committee, who gets it? Orange? Are people ready to trust Orange with ABRA?

  • truth hurts

    No more than Graham.

  • Wish I Could Write

    CM Bonds responded to my inquiry by stating that she will support Chairman Mendelsohn's resolution on Monday

  • truth hurts

    For those who complain that white CM's speak out only about crooked black CM's, here's the unofficial Graham tally thus far. Three white CM's (Mendo, Wells, and Grosso) have publicly endorsed disciplining Graham. One black CM (Bonds) is saying privately she'll support Mendo's resolution.

    That leaves 3 white CM's (Cheh, Evans, and Catania) and 4 black CM's (Barry, Orange, Alexander, and the new guy). What will they do? And when will they do it?

  • John

    The Mayor for Life is backing Graham.

  • Proud Mary

    @John Is that true?

  • Cecile B DeMille

    Would the person making the tasteless connections to this Graham cracker and legendary screen siren Norma Desmond please desist.

    I have a great respect for the art of film and the techniques and equipment necessary to achieve great art. I would never endanger a camera lens by putting this grotesquerie in its view, it might crack. Also, I am Cecile B. DeMille. I do not traffic in the tawdry and the cheap nor exploit the nadir of society's dung heap.

  • RealDC

    The worst Council in DC history continues down the "rabbit hole"!

    Was Kwame Brown the worst chair? Stay tuned on that one......

    This city needs LEADERSHIP!

  • Ward 1

    In reading the memorandum it really jumps out how Graham is finally desperately squirming. He might want to, instead, just grab a handful of stones, put them in his pocket, and hightail it out to Dulles. Its clear he knows they have got him.

    Jim, whatever art or furniture you haven't sold or shipped you need to abandon. The noose is tight, you need to move fast, go! go! go!

    Finally, mother will be proven right! You never were any good Jim!

  • OG/OLD TIMER

    Cecile B DeMille is a hoot.
    And Jim Graham is NO Norma Desmond.
    Elton John.....maybe, and I still like him.
    Leave him the fuck alone.

  • RealDC

    LOL. If Graham wants a trial then the HE should get one!

    Swear his A$$ in and lets get to the bottom of his shenanigans!! Taxi commission bribes, liquor license bribes, etc.......Open the book on this fool!!

  • truth hurts

    Proud Mary, yes it's true. To be fair, Barry explained his Grahambacking. Said the council should hold hearings first. Due process.

    Thing is, Mendo didn't recommend censure (which requires hearings). He recommended only a reprimand. I say if Graham wants hearings, let's have at it. Of course, then the council should be considering a censure, not just a reprimand. That's what Wells asked for: censure.

    Just for kicks, let's expand the hearing to include Graham's failure to report Loza's bribe attempt. Then his lawyers could write ten more letters to WaPo.

  • BarbaraWard1

    CM Bonds said on WPFW today that she agreed with the reprimand.

  • RealDC

    OK, let me get this straight. The council chair is recommending a reprimand?? Meanwhile, Graham's lawyers are filing petitions with the DC Superior Court. Huh?

    Mendeslon is playing checkers while Graham is playing chess.

    Mendeslon is screwing around with this guy, bring a full investigation that will included censure, stripping of committees etc. Yes, give him due process and then bust his A$$.

    Obviously, Graham is ready to fight and Mendelson is sharpening his "knife for a gun fight".

    The Accidental Chairman...Geez.

  • Brian’s Ions

    Would someone please pass Phil Mendelson a hand mirror?

    We just learned this week that– OVER 2 YEARS AGO– Phil Mendelson all but ignored warnings from DC’s police union that MPD was understating rape and sexual assault cases to make their crime statistics look better for MPD’s top brass. Now that’s pretty much what Human Rights Watch just reported last month.

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2013/01/24/human-rights-watch-mpd-officers-blame-intimidate-sex-crime-victims/

    (for addl. reference, Google: “YouTube DC Police Fail Rape Victims” –and–
    “Cops union: Mendelson ignored sex assaults allegations”)

    Once again, Mendelson put on a dog and pony show to shield Lanier’s MPD from any serious investigation of its sex crimes coverups to skew its crime stats.

    Watch the videos, then read the HRW Report, “DC Police Mishandle Sexual Assault Cases”.

    Now, apparently, Phil Mendelson has joined in Chief Lanier’s PR campaign to blame-the-messengers, bashing HRW and the police union who warned Mendelson of MPD’s abuses so long ago. What does that tell us?

    Blaming messengers– and all but those responsible, including violent crime victims, is becoming a familiar story from Lanier’s MPD.

    If Council wants to rush to reprimand Jim Graham before his case is adjudicated, it ought to also immediately reprimand Phil Mendelson for turning a blind eye to allegations of police malfeasance, abuse of victims, and potential criminal violations of crime victims’ civil rights under color of authority.

  • DAN

    Jim Graham deserves due process. It just appears that due process is being denied on a local and national level. What's going on????

  • truth hurts

    Update to yesterday's unofficial tally of CM's who have publicly announced they support sanctioning Graham:

    FOR SANCTIONS: Mendo, Grosso, Wells, Bonds, Silverman (at-large candidate)

    AGAINST SANCTIONS: Graham, Barry

    NO PUBLIC COMMENTS: Catania, Cheh, Evans, Alexander, Orange, New Ward 5 CM

  • Alf

    I assume DAN is a lowly associate with the law firm representing the Evil Queen.

    But agreed that it would be great to get Graham under oath, on everything includig the taxi bribe. Graham is more likely to get his just desserts from a perjury conviction.

  • Just Me

    Dan,

    How much due process do you need before you take action. Graham is the one that used the whistle blower protection to shield his actions, which is one reason this has been drawn out so long, and there have been multiple investigations where Graham has had due process. He just doesn't agree with the conclusions.

    Brians Ions please don't compare turning a blind eye to all the shenanigans that Graham has pulled. He is a politician in the worst sense of the word. Nobody that knows Graham believes him when he says he was just a sharp elbowed horse trader, we all know how vindictive and petty he can be when he doesn't get his way...well, you fill in the blank for how he acts when he really hates someone like in this case.

  • Lukas

    I note that Elissa Silverman called for Graham's censure before the hearing on Friday. Her cheerleaders call this a good thing. What am I missing? I understand wanting to be ahead of the tsunami, but due process is due process.

  • nivin

    "we all know how vindictive and petty he can be when he doesn't get his way..."

    correct @Just Me, as evidenced by him screeming curses at the judge in latin after he judge ruled against him.

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