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Gray Legislation Would Block Fenty Appointments to UDC Board

(*Updated at 2:20 p.m. with resumes of mayor's appointees.)

Council Chairman Vincent Gray has drafted legislationthat would extend the term of the University of the District of Columbia's Board of Trustees for 180 days, thereby blocking Mayor Fenty's appointments of several new board members. Gray says in the legislation that Fenty's choices "lack the necessary skills and qualifications and would be inappropriate appointments."

The mayor's appointees are: George Simpson, Sean Gough, Marvin Lee, Clarence Labor Jr. and Marcus Ellis.

But the move has outraged the mayor, who sicced Acting Attorney General Peter Nickles on the chairman. In a two-page letter, Nickles warned that improperly vest the council with authority to make appointments and would violate D.C. Code. (Coincidentally, Nickles himself is in the process of a confirmation review by the council, which grilled him Friday.)

"This would amount to the usurpation of the Mayor's exclusive authority to appoint Executive Branch officers," Nickles' letter stated.

In an interview today, Gray told D.C. Wire's Nikita Stewart that "UDC is at a critical point in its history. We need people who can really bring resources that can help the university."

By David A Nakamura  |  October 21, 2008; 11:55 AM ET
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Any chance of someone telling us more about the proposed appointees? And when will the University get greater autonomy from the city gov't?

Posted by: UDC Curious | October 21, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

That is why the Mayor appointed people who are qualified to be on the board so it can have more independence from the city and make it a world class university. The current board is suffering from croynism and they need to be replaced. The school is jacked up and need of new resources to be competitive.

The chair's attempt to block confirmations is a testament of the old guard versus the new guard. UDC needs new blood and new management.

Posted by: Go Ahead | October 21, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

This isn't about old guard vs. new guard - it's about ensuring that we have qualified people helping to evolve a University that has been in a bad place for several years. I personally know two of the candidates and they are absolutely not qualified. The Mayor is just trying to take control of another entity, as he always like to do because he is so incredibly arrogant.

Posted by: Sam | October 21, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow - has anyone looked at the resumes? None of them have an education/university background. None of them appear to have the skills/resources that UDC will need in order for its board to help turn it around. One of the candidates was Fenty's former Chief of Staff so there's obviously some favors being paid back. This is a total and complete sham. Fenty should be embarrassed.

Posted by: Chris | October 21, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse


Hmmm.. I never thought to check the resumes until now. Interesting perspective. Well we shall see what happens next. Thanks!

Posted by: Go Ahead | October 21, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Go Ahead -
I agree with you that the current board is not the best board and it is indeed suffering from cronyism...but surely the Mayor could have done better. Our city is rich with bright, intellectual, resourceful folks that could provide tremendous value to UDC.

Posted by: Sam | October 22, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree as well.

Posted by: Go Ahead | October 22, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

What goes around comes around!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: zippergyrl | October 22, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

All of the WOMEN on the board is who the mayor is replacing...and h=you mean to tell me he couldn't name another or ANY women to replace them????

Also Sean Gough is STILL a DC Gov employee which violates UDC's accreditation!

Marvin Lee is that the same one whois fenty's wife's best friends husband who is also fentys brother's wifes cousin....oh yeah he is a really good fit!


Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2008 11:31 AM

"Marvin Lee is that the same one whois fenty's wife's best friends husband who is also fentys brother's wifes cousin....oh yeah he is a really good fit!"

Marvin Lee's wife must be the one who has been nominated for the Public Service Commission, per the installment posted on this blog at 7:00 AM ET, 10/22/2008.

I'm not familar with her, but I am familar with a few of Fenty's other assorted friends who got the six-figure-good government-job hook-up. The ones I know are as arrogant and strident as the mayor, particularly Mr. Gough.

As we can see, cronyism in DC government is not uniquely associated with the Barry administration as many would like to believe.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

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