More Distractions for City Council Members
WI Web Staff Report | 9/2/2011, 10:26 p.m.
Things just keep going awry among members of the D.C. City Council.
The latest distractions for the 13-member governing body involve Jack Evans (Ward 2) and Jim Graham (Ward 1) who have been subpoenaed to testify in a civil proceeding brought by a former contracting officer with the Chief Financial Officer's (CFO) office. The matter, which was brought up by Eric Payne, relates to how, with the Council's approval, the D.C. Lottery contract was awarded years ago.
According to Loose Lips, Payne said he was improperly fired after resisting CFO Natwar Gandi's undue political pressure while the lottery contract was up for bid. Payne contends that the two council members were witnesses to Gandhi's alleged pressuring.
"Upon information and belief, the CFO had committed to certain City Council members and other politically connected individuals to terminate plaintiff and re-bid the lottery contract," LL reported Payne's complaint, that's been filed in federal court, as saying.
Graham is saying he's done nothing wrong and that the Council's attorney plans to ask that the subpoenas be quashed.
Meanwhile, Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry raised eyebrows over comments he made after someone ran into the back of his Jaguar a few weeks ago.
When Barry drove the vehicle up to the John A. Wilson Building with the bumper hanging off, press on the scene queried him on what happened.
At first Barry didn't want to talk about it. Then after more questioning, he shot back that, "this is what happens when you live in the ghetto."
Barry's spokesperson Natalie Williams attempted to clean up his remarks, saying in a statement that "to draw an exclusive correlation between hit-and-run accidents and communities such as Ward 8 was unfortunate. Hit and run accidents occur in every Ward in our city to and by all class and race of people."
Williams further said that she understood how Barry's response rubbed some people the wrong way, adding that it was disheartening to some who are trying to rise above the stereotypes often associated with the word "ghetto."
Williams said that when the word is used "in its proper context and supported by facts there is truth in his characterization of the overall conditions of the Ward."