Bowser Letter Included Second Grant
In addition to expressing concern about a $300,000 city earmark to the National Association of Former Foster Care Children of America, Council member Muriel Bowser is also asking investigators to look into a $200,000 grant made last year to Cease Fire...Don't Smoke the Brothers.
In this morning's paper, the Washington Post reported that twoformer employees allege NAFFCCA has mismanaged the funds it received from the city. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) directed the earmark to the group. Barry admitted his role last night, even though the group's executive director, Louis Henderson, and its fiscal agent, Rev. Anthony Motley, said they were under the impression that the earmark had come from Bowser.
Concerned her name is being entangled in the controversy, Bowser sent a letter to Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) last week asking that attorney Robert S. Bennett investigate the earmark to NAFFCCA.
Her letter also requests a probe into the $200,000 earmark issued to Cease Fire...Don't Smoke the Brothers, a gang prevention organization headed up by Al-Malik Farrakhan, a longtime Barry ally.
Bowser stressed in her letter to Gray she has received no complaints that Cease Fire...Don't Smoke the Brothers is misusing city money. But Farrakhan's organization is located in Ward 4. It's not customary for council members to dish out money to organizations located in other wards, she said.
"No one has raised concerns with me about this grant, but out of an abundance of caution, I bring it to your attention because its another Mr. Barry earmark directed to an organization in my ward," Bowser wrote to Gray. "To be clear, I did not request or advocate for, nor have I been a party to the administration of either of the earmarks discussed in this letter."
July 22, 2009; 10:50 AM ET
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