Barry Says Ex Was Unstable; Gave Her Job Anyway
So Natalie Williams, Council member Marion Barry's spokeswoman, calls a press conference for 11 p.m. last night to respond to the Washington Post story that Barry hired his ex-girlfriend as a city contractor two months after they began dating.
Williams requested that television news stations carry her remarks live on the late news. Many obliged.
When the event began, Williams started her remarks by lashing out at Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, the ex-girlfriend who had been paid $5,000 a month to work on "poverty reduction strategies" in Ward 8.
Williams reiterated the Barry camp's claims that Watts-Brighthaupt is unstable. Williams also upped the ante by spewing unsubstantiated allegations about Watt-Brighthaupt's mental condition live on television.
The obvious question then, which I asked, is why did Barry hire Watts-Brighthaupt as a city contractor last October if he suspected she was "unstable?"
"Mr. Barry believed, based on her past qualifications, and based on the requirements needed for that particular job, that he felt she was qualified enough to actually do that job," Williams responded. "Ms. Watts was a friend of Mr. Barry's, yes, and so he in fact was trying to help as best he could and assist her with employment."
The Washington City Paper's Mike Debonis followed up by asking when Barry began to suspect that Watts-Brighthaupt was unstable, a charge she firmly denies.
According to city records, Barry hired Watts-Brighthaupt in October, asked that the contract be canceled in December, and then had it reinstated in February. In May, Barry requested that the Council secretary "expedite" payments to Watts-Brighthaupt for her services.
"I am uncertain of the time period," Williams responded.
July 8, 2009; 10:31 AM ET
Categories: Tim Craig
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