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Barry's Ex-Girlfriend Receiving City Funds

D.C. Council member Marion Barry hired ex-girlfriend Donna Watts-Brighthaupt to work on his city staff shortly after they began dating last year, according to city records.

Watts-Brighthaupt has been paid at least $10,000 to work as a contractor for Barry's Council office and was hired in October, two months after she has said she began dating Barry. The money comes from Barry's taxpayer-funded budget as a council member.

Barry was charged by the Park Service Police with misdemeanor stalking Saturday night after allegedly following Watts-Brighthaupt in a car in Anacostia Park.

Earlier in the day, Barry and Watts-Brighthaupt set off for an overnight trip to Rehoboth Beach. But they returned to the District a few hours later after they got into an argument over lunch in Annapolis.

The U.S. Attorney's Office still has to decide whether to pursue the charges against Barry.

But the case has brought renewed attention to Barry's relationship with Watts-Brighthaupt, a political consultant who worked on Barry's 2008 reelection campaign. She said they began dating at the Democratic National Convention in August.

They broke up a few days before his kidney surgery in February, but the two remained in close contact.

In April, Barry made news after he paid $800 at an auction to buy Watts-Brighthaupt an opera jacket even though is on probation for failing to pay taxes.

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  July 7, 2009; 3:46 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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