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Mendelson Considered for Council Chair, Orange Disagrees

Wire Report | 6/12/2012, 6:08 p.m.

WASHINGTON - The acting chairman of the D.C. Council has circulated a resolution that would make Councilmember Phil Mendelson the interim chairman.

Mendelson would ascend to the district's second-highest local elected office following last week's resignation of Kwame Brown, who pleaded guilty to bank fraud.

Acting Chairman Mary Cheh circulated the resolution Tuesday to councilmembers and staff. Cheh had already voiced her support for Mendelson, who appears to have more than the necessary votes from his 11 colleagues to become interim chairman. He also plans to run in a special election this fall to serve the remainder of Brown's term.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Vincent Orange has informed colleagues that he plans to introduce amendments to the resolution, presumably to install himself as interim chairman, as he feels he's a better fit for the job.

A statement from Doug Payton on Orange's behalf stated in part that:

"...I cannot in good conscience support this resolution. In my view, this resolution is not in the best interest of neither the Council of the District of Columbia nor the citizens we represent.

The reputation of the Council of the District of Columbia has been severely damaged. In light of Colbert King's June 9, 2012 article entitled "We're to blame for the D.C. Council mess", I cannot go forward with this resolution.