Loose Lips

D.C. Council Votes to Censure Barry, Despite Opposition From Orange, Evans, and Graham

The full D.C. Council voted 9 to 4 this afternoon to give Marion Barry his second Council censure and recommend that he lose his committee, despite attempts by some councilmembers to water down the punishment recommended Monday by an ad hoc committee that looked into it.

Next, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson will put his own recommendation about what to do with Barry's committee to a Council vote. Mendelson says that he will probably have his proposal ready when the Council meets on Oct. 1.

Barry, who's being punished for taking $6,800 from city contractors, began the hearing by claiming that the committee didn't have the authority to recommend that he lose his own committee. Despite the advice of Council attorney Dave Zvenyach that the ad hoc committee could make the recommendation, Barry continued to insist otherwise throughout the hearing.

Vincent Orange then tried to strip the resolution of the recommendation that Barry lose his committee, following a logic proposed this morning that ad hoc committee members David Grosso and Anita Bonds were angling to take it for themselves. Orange argued that, because Barry has already been censured and fined $13,600 by the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, he had already been punished enough.

Jack Evans, Ward 2 councilmember and mayoral hopeful, then tried to amend Orange's amendment to reduce Barry's censure to a reprimand.

"Councilmember Barry brings an enormous expertise of many years to this body and should continue as a committee chairman with his expertise," Evans said. Both attempts failed, despite receiving votes in support from Orange, Barry, Evans, and Jim Graham, who was himself reprimanded earlier this year.

With the attempts to reduce the severity of the resolution finished, Barry started speaking directly to councilmembers who were voting in favor of the censure, including ad hoc committee chairman Kenyan McDuffie and mayoral hopeful Tommy Wells.

"Tommy, I understand that," Barry told Wells. "I don't necessarily agree, but I understand that."

But Barry's mood turned less forgiving after the censure resolution passed, over the nay votes of Graham, Evans, Orange, and Barry. Speaking to reporters from the dais, Barry suggested he isn't the only member who's violated ethics rules.

"There are members of the council who see themselves as champions of ethics," he says. "But those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    Marion Barry need to retire. The man is an embarrassment to the residents in the District and to black Washingtonians.

  • Anonymous,Too

    "Councilmember Barry brings an enormous expertise of many years to this body and should continue as a committee chairman with his expertise," Evans said.

    And, besides, if your pal Vinny can't run for Mayor, I'm gonna need you to wrangle all those Ward 8 votes of yours to beat Muriel and keep this gravy train rolling.

  • http://citypaper SLY

    Barry, go smoke a ROCK!

  • Ward One Resident

    Oh Jimbo, I really hope you don't plan on running again.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    "...But those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

    I am just waiting, with baited breath, for a politican to start kicking butt and naming names and offenses, as he/she is about to go down in flames.

    Councilmember Barry, do us all a favor, dismiss the general politic speech and Proceed with the speciifics, PLEASE! What have you got to lose?

  • tony

    Anita Bonds stabbed Marion Barry in the back. Barry was responsible for her victory whether she and her broke axx black crowd wants to admit it or not.

    Mrs. Bonds new silly strategy is to appeal to the new white voters but this is a serious mistake. And she will soon see that white folks, in general, see her no differently than they do Barry.

    I supported Anita but I have lost all respect for her as so many black folks in this city. Anita Bonds will never be reelected in this city. Mark my words.

    There's no room in the black community for such dogs.

    Anita Bonds is a traitor of the worst kind and she will be politically treated as such.

    Mrs. Bonds, if my words are too strident, they are meant to be.

  • Murph

    If Anita stabbed Marion in the back, it's because he had it coming. Come on, enough with this nonsense - not paying DC taxes, funneling money to a gf and now accepting a bribe. I did not support Anita, but at least she's paying attention to the voters. That's more than can be said for Jim Graham and the others who apparently think that kind of behavior is no big deal.

  • tony

    Come on! Yeah, lets come on.

    Barry supported HER and is responsible for her victory.

    Anita had a moral responsibility to stand by the man. He was accused of taking a very little amount of money from a personal friend which he admitted WAS WRONG. He agreed that his actions were wrong and accepted a fine of over 13k which he is paying. He agreed to be censured by the operative board. And he agreed to other punitive measures issued by that board.

    Then McDuffie, Yvette Alexander dumbaxx and Anita Bonds with some cracker from anywhere goes into a room and decides that he should penalized even further.

    Anita Bonds was the one person who had the obligation to stand up for the man since he helped her so much. She could have even recommended a less severe punishment given the punishment the operative board had already issued. Instead, she sided with the others and stabbed the man in the back, She is a traitor of the worst kind.

    The lady can't be trusted.

    Mr. Bonds days in politics in this city are OVER!

    Mark my words!

  • Lester

    Tony- I've known Anita and Marion for many, many years. She has had his back since he was on the school board and protected him throughout thick and thin. She helped him just as much as he helped her. He knew he was in the wrong and she was placed in a difficult situation but voted for what was appropriate, not expulsion as others wanted but censure.

  • dan

    Anita Bonds will lose her next election. I voted for her the last time; however, I will NOT vote for her again. Dumb mistake on her part. Whites did not support her before and will not support her now.

  • dan

    This DC Council is an embarrassment. The least progressive and least substantive How can people who make a decent salary vote to limit or destroy anyone else's opportunity to make a more decent salary. The minimum wage in this city and country is a disgrace.

  • seeseehpounder

    Why defend any of these councilmembers? They are all crooks stealing DC's money. The people looking for leniency are only doing it because they want Marion around to give them leniency when they are finally caught too. Clean house and start fresh. Why is their so much money floating freely between contractors to poiticians to healthcare back to contractors and so on? Because it's our money! They are stealing from all of us, why do we accept it? Fire them and make them get real jobs.

  • Big Daddy

    OMG how blatant can Evans be in kissing Barry's azz for some votes in ward 8. But Evans, you're now losing the vote in the other areas of the city -- the areas where people don't rely on Barry handouts.

  • Henry Mulzac

    The DC council is not in the forefront of embarrassment, it is the people of the District of Columbia who have elected such corrupt and/or incompetent persons (Norton included) into office. With that said, all we need now is for DC to expand such ineptitude to include 2 Senators, 4 Representatives and a Governor to put the display on a National stage. Ahhhh.....No!

  • jimA

    Marion states that other Councilmembers have engaged in ethical violations. don't coy, Marion. Tell us. Give specifics.

  • RealDC

    @tony- I hope you are right. Bonds is BULLSHIT, always has been and always will be! Bullshit Bonds or BS Bonds to her friends. Bonds is horrible on all levels. She should have never been placed in office. I told you, Tony!!

    Ward 5 can do better as well. That dude reads like he is seeing words for the first time.... don't let him hit 2 or 3 syllable word, its like a new language....uh, uh is not in every word ..SMH!

    Wells is wimp! Bowser

    Mayor Jack!!

  • stick2yourguns

    DC City Council is a JOKE!!

  • Marvin E. Adams

    I am continually amazed at the amount of time and energy individuals expend excoriating the present city councilmembers. Granted, it is sometimes fun to read a few of the posts, but more often than not, they are misplaced.

    The object of their wrath should be the residents, who for whatever reason(s), choose not to exercise their most basic right, relative to participatory governance: Voting!

    When 10 - 15% percent of the registered voters consistently vote in elections, it speaks volumes about the apapthy or ignorance, or worse yet, both, of the residents. Until those numbers start inching upward, there will always be a small cadre of voters who will vote for the same individuals, as evidenced by the high percentage of incumbents consisitently being reelected.

  • Sally

    Barry would have been better off it he'd said that "those in crack houses shouldn't get stoned."

  • Alf

    There's a reason why Anita's nickname is "Barry Bonds."

    DC Statehood now! Barry for Governor! Yeah.

  • Alf

    Graham and Orange voted their self interest. They know they may be next. Maybe Evans, too, but I think his vote was motivated more by transparently craven pandering to Marion's dwindling number of hard-core supporters.

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  • noodlez





    Who cares, really?

  • drez

    Barry was caught taking thousands of dollars off the books from contractors with business before the city. Maybe they expected nothing in return, maybe they expected a lot in return. Who knows.
    Regardless, it's at least an appearance of conflict and, more importantly, it's illegal.
    Everything else is just opinion or detail.

  • OkiedokieDC

    Catania=MC Dean, city contractor??

    Only difference, Catania got a W-2 at the end of the year.......Barry probably got cash upfront....damn, Barry stop being lazy, get "a job" with a city contractor.......moonlight.

  • native too

    Barry, it's time to rest and let the new DC people experience true cruelty.

  • truth hurts

    Barry taking an envelope stuffed with cash in a strip club. Graham, Orange, and Evans defending his actions. Priceless.

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