Loose Lips

Committee Recommends Censure for Marion Barry

Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry could be headed toward his second D.C. Council censure in three years. This morning, the Council committee created to punish Barry for accepting cash from city contractors recommended censuring the mayor-for-life and stripping him of his committee chairmanship.

The five-member committee, made up of Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, at-large councilmembers Anita Bonds and David Grosso, and Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, voted unanimously for the recommendations.The full D.C. Council will vote on Barry's punishment tomorrow.

Barry has already been censured and fined $13,600 by the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability for accepting the gifts.

"His conduct worsens the growing mistrust of District government officials and underscores claims that the Council's role in the contract oversight process is fundamentally flawed," McDuffie, the committee's chairman, read from the report. The committee didn't find any evidence of a quid pro quo between Barry and the contractors.

The committee's report finds that Barry accepted $6,800 in cash payments from two city contractors, Keith Forney and Freddie Winston. Barry violated Council rules both by accepting gifts from a prohibited source and not recusing himself on a vote involving a contract payment to Forney's company, according to the report.Forney and Winston didn't coordinate their gifts, according to the report. Instead, Forney gave Barry several payments worth $2,800 in 2012 after Barry complained about IRS tax liens. Forney claimed that he gave the gifts to Barry "as a gesture of respect for Councilmember Barry's legacy of work in the city." At least one of the exchanges took place at the Stadium Club, the strip club/restaurant that Forney owns part of.

Winston gave Barry $4,000 after hearing Barry complain about the IRS bills, as well. Barry wanted more than $4,000, according to the report, but Winston refused to give him more.

In 2010, the Council censured Barry and took a committee chairmanship over his role in an earmarks scheme. McDuffie says the earlier censure played into the harshness of the committee's recommendation, but says he isn't sure whether it will be enough to deter Barry from ethical lapses in the future.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Jerry Jones

    It's time for Barry to retire.

  • EZG1

    Barry's continued disregard for the rules of law only confirms the belief of many the DC Government is made up of a collection of illiterate, un-educated buffoons incapable of governing themselves. Barry's antics only serve as a distraction to cover the inadequacies' of his infamous colleagues.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    I am for censuring EVERY member of the DC Council, who after the voters elected to establish term limts said the hell with you people, we will do what we want.

    I am for censuring EVERY member of the DC Council, who were conspicuous by their silence during the litany of transgressions comitted by their fellow members.

    I am for censuring Every member of the DC Council, ad infinitum...

  • JimA

    The Committee members were wise to have a unanimous vote. If even there had been one dissenting vote, Marion and his sycophants would have argued "set-up and double standard."

    Will the Council the Council have the guts to make Marion pay the fine? The only way they can do that is by taking the money right out of his salary, because Marion won't voluntarily pay.

  • qwerty

    When will this terrible man do the right thing and step down?

  • Marvin E. Adams

    @qwerty: Yoy wrote: "When will this terrible man do the right thing and step down/"

    You are obviously new to the "bubble" that used to be known as "Chocalate City." There was a time, I'm told, that Marion Barry was good for the city (Jobs, jobs and more jobs!). Unfortunately, like many pols, who seem to stay beyond their time, his time may have long passed.

    As for as your query is concern, don't hold your breathe!, or at least until Evans, Graham, Bowser, et al, resigns.

  • Ward 8 citzen

    Maurice Dickens for Ward 8 Council 2016!!!

  • Pingback: Committee Recommends Censure for Marion Barry - iVoter.net

  • noodlez

    I’M SICK OF WHITEY’S AND FAKE ASS BLACK FOLK CALLING FOR BARRY TO RESIGN! ALL YOU BAMMAS ARE SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL WITH YOUR LAME ASS COMMENTS. WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE FOR ALL COUNCIL MEMBERS TO NOT TAKE ANY MONEY OTHER THAN THEIR SALARY FOR THE JOB TO WHICH THEY WERE ELECTED? WHERE IS THE CALLING FOR FOLK TO RESIGN WHO TOOK MONEY “SO CALLED LEGALLY” WHO OBVIOUSLY BEEN BOUGHT BY THOSE OUTSIDE INTERESTS PAYING THEM?

    WHILE I’M DISAPPOINTED THAT MARION BARRY TOOK THE MONEY. I’M EQUALLY UPSET THAT HIS TRUTH HURTS HIMSELF. I’M ALSO ANGRY THAT THOSE FAKE ASS COUNCIL MEMBERS (EVANS, WELLS AND BOWSER) CONTINUE TO STAY THE COURSE AND BELLOW FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR THEIR OBVIOUS TRANSGRESSIONS THAT SOMEHOW DOESN’T MERIT ANY INVESTIGATIONS THAT IS WORTH ANYTING!

    I’M SADDENED BY THIS BECAUSE THE CHIPPING AWAY AT BARRY IS REALLY A DOPPLEGANGER OF CHIPPING AWAY AT THE BLACK LEGACY HERE IN MY CITY.

    WHY THIS MAYBE AN EXAMPLE OF THE DC COUNCIL DOING IT’S DUTIES THIS IS ALSO AN EXAMPLE OF HYPOCRISY AT IT’S BEST. NO ONBE HANDS ARE CLEAN! I’M SURE MARION BARRY GOT THE DROP ON ALL THOSE FAKE ASS BAMMAS THUS THE BULLSHIT ASS CENSURE! WHITEY’S AND FAKE ASS BLACK FOLK WAKE THE FUCK UP!!

    ONE CITY!

  • sticktoyourguns

    look who did the first vote..Grosso whose done nothing since being on the council and Bonds who should be censured her damn self. hell she works for ft myers construction and votes each and everytime they are looking for a contract and funding.

  • tony

    @Noodlez,

    Man, we yearn for assimilation so much that we will destroy our own to please others. Some of us have preached for years on this very blog about the 'rules for them and rules for us' standard only to be criticized by other blacks.

    At the end of the day, Marion Barry will always be respected by his people and those silly azz blacks and racist whites who dislike him can kick rocks.

  • Bob

    The late Nicholas von Hoffman on 60 Minutes called then-President Nixon, as the Nixon saga inexorably moved toward resignation, "the dead rat on the floor of America's kitchen."

    Today Barry is the rat on the floor of DC's kitchen and the stench has become just too much. It's past time for him to go!

  • Knowit

    Hey Sticktoyourguns Keep shooting your mouth but Bonds quit her job at Ft. Myers, who btw is the largest privately owned unionized business in DC that employs DC residents.

  • tony

    @Bob,

    Grosso and Mendleson are the biggest RATS of them all!

    Barry will stay in office as long as his people say so, period. If you don't like it then move.

  • EZG1

    The censure means nothing, why is Barry not being prosecuted on the bribery charges?

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