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Bennett report: Barry benefited from city contract obtained for ex-girlfriend

D.C. Council Member Marion Barry personally benefited from the contract he obtained for his former girlfriend and directed earmarks that "provided substantial financial benefits to some of his close friends and supports," according to a report by attorney Robert S. Bennett (pdf file).

In the report, Bennett stated Barry violated "D.C. law, council rules and policies and procedures" and recommends his findings be referred to the U.S. Attorney for possible criminal charges.

Barry responded that he did nothing wrong because the council had no written procedures outlining whom a council member could give a contract to.

In July, after news surfaced that Barry had given Donna Watts-Brighthaupt a city contract, the council asked Bennett to investigate the matter and review the council process for distributing earmarks.

According to the report, which was released this morning, Bennett concludes that Barry sought approval of Watts-Brighthaupt contract after he loaned her money to help her pay her bills. After Barry secured the contract for Watts-Brighthaupt, he then forced her to use her paycheck to repay him, the report said.

"Ms. Watts-Brighthaupt testified on several occasions, Mr. Barry personally delivered a contract payment check to her, insisted that they go directly to the bank, waited in the car while she cashed the check and when she returned to the car, required her to pay a portion of the funds over to him," the report states.

Watts-Brighthaupt was paid a total of $15,000 in city funds to develop a program called "Emerging Leaders of Ward Eight." However, according to the Bennett report, "significant portions" of the program manual "were copied without attribution from publicly available materials located on the Internet."

The Bennett report also looks into the 41 earmarks that Barry sponsored in fiscal year 2007, which totaled about $8.5 million. The report, which is still be presented to the council, states "a handful of individuals close to Mr. Barry, and their friends and relatives, made tens of thousands of dollar" from the earmarks.

"We conclude Mr. Barry breached the highest ethical standards expected of him," Bennett told the council. "We find his conduct not only appeared to be improper, but was improper. We find Mr. Barry breached the public trust and violated the conflict of interest laws of the District of Columbia."

When council members got to question Bennett, Barry stated, "if there are no written procedures for personal service contracts, no written procedures for scope of work...no written procedures for how you evaluate a product, then one who engages in that cannot, cannot be held accountable for violating something that did not exist in the first place," Barry said.

Barry told Bennett he resented the implication that he alone was responsible for the earmarks that were directed to organizations in Ward 8.

"The council awarded these contracts," Barry said. "Marion Barry did not sign a contract."

But Barry said he makes no apologies for trying to divert resources into economically depressed Ward 8.

"I am a different kind of council member," Barry said. "I ran to get resources, to uplift people of Ward 8 to do everything I can to empower them."

-- Tim Craig

By By Tim Craig  |  February 16, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Marion Barry , Tim Craig  
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Next: Cheh: Council should 'condemn' Barry's actions

Comments

Barry violated DC law. What else is new?

Posted by: thetan | February 16, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, pick my jaw up off the floor. You mean our Mayor-for-life actually cares about his own pockets more than the people he serves?

Who would have ever thought?

Next, you're going to tell me that DC residents pay twice as much in taxes as other cities for half of the benefits.

You get what you vote for folks. But, as long as you're happy...

Posted by: Buddydog | February 16, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

This is news?

Posted by: ceebee2 | February 16, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

In other breaking news, dog bites man and the sun rose this morning in the east. ZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Axel2 | February 16, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Barry did nothing illegal.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 16, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

So What - Another Politician. Another Bribe. Another no brainer. We all know politicians lie, cheat, steal, and bribe. So what he's NOT going to jail and SO WHAT !

Posted by: kstobbe1 | February 16, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse


And D.C. wonders why it is not allowed to join the fraternity of independent states of the union?

The really sad part is that Hizzoner probably is no more guilty/culpable than many of his cohorts in the D.C. government.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | February 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

And what have Ward 8 citizen done besides kill each other. Is that were the money went Mr. Barry or do you even know. Did it go to finance the continuing slaughter of the black male by the black male or did it go to front organizations that PRETENDED to create programs that uplift.

But I actually blame the District AND the Council for not having in place some type of rules and regulations regarding contracts. As usual Barry beat the system by raising the very valid point that "how can you charge me with violating a law that didn't exist".

Barry could have become a millionaire by teaching the citizens of Ward 8 how to swindle the goverment. He's a street-wise con man with legions of folks who got into and swindled the DC Government under his watch as Mayor and Council Member.

Posted by: keedrow | February 16, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, knock me over with a feather . . .

Posted by: WashingtonDame | February 16, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Could it be that Berry is only in training to become a U.S. senator or congressman?

Posted by: philiplockerman | February 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse


Oh, my. I suppose this will mean another trip to Howard University Hospital for a stay so as to avoid the press, then another one as his trial approaches (if it ever gets that far; Barry always seems to avoid a trial on all the various charges he mounts up).

.

Posted by: adjjones | February 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The DC Council gave approval to the contract, the council member did not sign them, also this is being done all over where friend's and relatives get assistance from people in high position's, What's so new about that?
Check the employment of some people and I am sure that you will find that most of them know or knew someone to help them get a job, and if they owed for a loan, not a bribe, then they should pay up, What's the big issue, Stop throwing stone's if you could you would too, be VERY REAL |!!!

Posted by: onesugar | February 16, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, here is a big surprise, Marion Barry broke the law! What else is new!

Posted by: SilverSpring2 | February 16, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It took them this long to figure it out? Barry is a crook from a long way back. I am not surprised he did something illegal.

Posted by: Pilot1 | February 16, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please! So far all he seems to have done is try to get a loan repaid by this crazy woman. Poor Marion, except for Effie he sure ties up with some loonies.

This Donna Watts-Brighthaupt just resents being banished from the big bed. She misses the taste of Marion's aged skin on her lips and tongue.

Posted by: SoCali | February 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"The b$$$tch set me up!"

Posted by: whalehead | February 16, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

People don't know it but Barry is The Messiah come to save us.

Posted by: uncivil | February 16, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

At least Marion Barry looked out and looked the other way too. But he loves the ladies and from what my eyes see the ladies still love to date him even if they get screwed royally and impotently.

Posted by: foxxmacpryor | February 16, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

While most politicans are scroundels and professional grifters, I believe most people would take advantage of the power that comes with such a position.

But here's what I don't get: With his record, Barry has to know that he's being watched and scruntinized more than anyone else on the council. Under that type of lens, why would he continue to make such screwy moves?

Posted by: mmurphy6 | February 16, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Gee I'm stunned. He really belongs in Congress where the big bucks are.

Posted by: FLvet | February 16, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

This is a typical witch hunt, KKK style, for Marion Barry. If the lady was returning money borrowed to Mr. Barry, how is he gaining in this situation?

He is just getting the money that was his in the first place. What should be done is that the DC Council should establish and spell out guidelines as to what the Council can and cannot do with regard to awarding contracts. The fact that non-stringent policies don’t exist speaks volumes.

It’s the old boy system that was left behind that Whites used back in the day. Now that Blacks are exercising those loop holes in those policies and procedures, there is a problem. This happens in Congress and the Senate. They have funds available to them to give non-compete contracts, and they give those contracts to constituents’, family and friends.

If they charge Marion Barry with a crime, they will set an ugly precedent in that they will shake up this non-compete contract thing across the board. Perhaps it would be a positive move, but an unfair move to prosecute Marion Barry.

How much did they pay William Bennett for this report? This is a waste of time and tax payers’ money. What they should have done was pay an organization to establish policies and procedures to just make adjustments in the existing procedures on contract letting.

It is my feeling that they should just leave Marion Barry alone. Let this man live out his political days doing what he can do for Ward 8, Lord knows that Fenty is not an advocate for Ward 8 or any other Ward that is dominated by minorities. Let’s face it, Marion Barry has done a lot of good in the community and should be let to continue.

Isn't this the same thing that Fenty did for the Parks Services Contracts that Peter Nichols cleared? If they charge Barry, they should put Bennett on Fenty's contract letting, and then off to Congress and the Senate to get those Whites who have been doing this for years.

The double standard in America is a bear, and it don't matter one bit that we have a Black President. While I do respect the Presidency, I have to just say that he is just a figure head, as his position is ceremonial.

Just keeping it real!

Posted by: Special_One40 | February 16, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What do these women see in Barry? Are pickings that slim on the dating scene? They must be gluttons for punishment & drama.

Posted by: uncivil | February 16, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

And in related news, Scientists report that fire is actually HOT, a BEAR craps in the woods, and Crack makes people crazy.

Thank you WaPo for being the OBVIOUS police. I smell a Peabody Award in the making for your exceptionally hard-hitting, investigative journalism regarding this topic.

Posted by: BLKManCommonSense | February 16, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Special_One40,

Either you're really good at sarcasm, or your rambling shows that you have no understanding of what's happened and have totally lost your mind.

Posted by: dkg4 | February 16, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

If Barry had NOT violated the law I would have thought something was wrong with him!!

Posted by: aspe4 | February 16, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The sad thing is that Mayor-for-life Barry predicates his defense on what is legal, not what is ethically and morally right.

Posted by: warren5 | February 16, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

What, in God's name, will it take for the Council to give this guy the boot? He deserves impeachment, conviction and incarceration. And the Council can't even find the ethical wherewithal to remove this leech from public office.

The shame continues unabated. And you wonder why DC is and always will be denied a vote in Congress?

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | February 16, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Just another reason why the DC government never deserves the right to tax suburban residents who work in the district. It's never been that the DC government does not have enough cash to address real issues. The problem has always been what the district government does with the money it already has at its disposal.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | February 16, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Forget Statehood in the hood.
DC is as corrupt as Chicago. If the whole city council voted to approve this stuff - they should all be equally guilty. Some here actually defend Barry and think this is racist??? This is stupid people acting stupidly with our tax money with stupid people defending them.
I'm sure the whole criminal bunch will be voted in again. It is DC after all.
You can forget statehood as long as you defend this stuff!

Posted by: Independent23 | February 16, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Really, Marion Barry deserves to die in a cell. I just hope they release him the day before his death, so taxpayers don't end up having to pay for his funeral, too.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | February 16, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Ward 8 citizens don't give a damn, why should anyone else? Find some real news, Post. Cripes!

Posted by: tonestein1 | February 16, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

spellcheck?

Posted by: FrankfurtFreddie | February 16, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Barry's guilty of is playing by the rules...as they existed 50 years ago. He's not exactly Tony Soprano.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | February 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse


More than 30 years after Marion Barry first took political office in the District and they JUST found out he violated "D.C. law, council rules and policies and procedures."

How hard were they looking into this continually flushing toilet, better known as Washington, DC?

I'll bet if you looked a little harder the DC jail cells would be packed with former district officials.


Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | February 16, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"We conclude Mr. Barry breached the highest ethical standards expected of him," Bennett told the council." When was this fool ever held up to any ethical standards????

Posted by: OttoOrange | February 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The sad part is, if he were to run again for Mayor, he'd win. Only in DC can a crackhead /Tax evader, still have a political career. And people wonder why they have no representation on The Hill.

Posted by: Toochilled | February 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

After Walter Washington, Mr. Barry has been the best Mayor that the D.C. has ever had, this guy Fenty and the others before him have been a joke. Please give him a break,he did a lot of good for the city, don't look at the bad things he's done, look at the good things he accomplished during his time as Mayor and now as a council member,just remember nobody is perfect, we are humans and we make mistakes.

Posted by: eportillo655 | February 16, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Who cares. Fenty has been doing the same thing. As long as the work is accomplished who cares. However in the case concerning Bennett she obviously was scamming the Gov. as she didn't produce a single part of the documents. She should be charged with fraud. A politician's job is to provide what he can for his state, district or what ever. Barry just needs to stop using his office as a means to get laid.

Posted by: askgees | February 16, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

This is a stretch. Barry is being reprimanded by the council for giving city contracts to personal friends.

Let's rephrase: A politician is being reprimanded for giving contracts to personal friends and big time campaign contributors.

This, like the initial story is another Post hack job on Barry and I didn't even vote for the man.

Posted by: dcis1 | February 16, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post Article dated June 28, 2007 "Reinoso, a 38-year-old former Board of Education member, took the blame for copying whole passages from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., school system's strategic plan when drafting a 31-page report for the D.C. system." Why wasn't Reinoso referred for prosecution. As an educator, what example does that set for the DCPS students when the Deputy Mayor of Education can plagarize, publicly admit doing so, and nothing happens?

Posted by: rjchittamssr | February 16, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Who cares.

White folks has stole this country dry.

Leave this man alone for a few dollars.

Posted by: K2007 | February 16, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Please, Fenty is doing the exact same thing right now, but on a much larger scale.

Posted by: StLou | February 16, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Leave Marion Barry alone. I am sick and tired of hearing the media and every other hypocrite denouncing another human being. Marion Barry is no worst and/or better than anyone else. JESUS said "he/she without sin to cast the first stone"--not that I don't think--but, I know, no one can fit those shoes "without sin". Everyone, has some sought of issue one time and/or another. What ever Marion Barry did, have done, will do--we all are guilty of sought. And for real--I can't blame him for wanting to get his money back after loaning it out to "who" he thought was a friend--the nerve of her to try and make a mountain out of a molehill--so what--the man wanted his money back--we all do - if we loan it out. And all that other abstract mess (A handful of Barry's close friends--and their families and their friends benefited) "well go get the ones that benefited" try and lock them up too--if Barry was wrong, believe me, so were they--because, they knew what the situation was (although, they will try to be blameless and dumbfound-when it comes down the pike)--when they received the earmarks-or whatever... Please get a life, and leave that "old man" alone, so he can live out the rest of his short life stress free--what good will it do, to put him behind bars at this latter day--he haven't mudered anyone---and to be frank--seems to me-he's done more good for the District of Columbia-then any other Mayor has yet to do--and I live in Maryland...

Posted by: lemon1 | February 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Barry has been a crook all of his pitiful life.

Do not forget the Mary Treadwell/Barry deal of the past - they were thieves then,
and thieves now!

Posted by: Sirius2 | February 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

got to love his honor. this guy is slicker than willie. marion is the man in da city,i say off the token on the hill and replace with everyones choice.statehood would be a reality in a short time. anyone recall one of his classic remarks re one of his escapades."they will get over it". who be they?

Posted by: pofinpa | February 16, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"...the highest ethical standards expected of him."

Well, that is somewhere below that of a common pimp.

Posted by: F-4Phantom | February 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Marion's the man! Marion Barry for mayor! Bring back the good old days and let the good times roll!

Posted by: checkered1 | February 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

SoCali - I almost spit out the bite of lunch I just took! LOL

AND, a Pittsburgh City Councilwoman went to jail for this. Same deal...giving "contracts" to friends who, when asked for the "study" or whatever else the contract said, made copies of other people's studies. The councilwoman got a kickback out of the contract though... Barry supposedly "loaned" the woman money. I doubt it.

Posted by: j9zig2 | February 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

You mean to tell me that Barry is doing illegal things with a prostitute? Wait, this sounds awfully familiar.

Who is voting for these people?? Oh wait, nevermind, makes perfect sense actually.

Posted by: savethepcbs | February 16, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

While this is plainly in the category of dog bites man, and Barry is a crook, I do agree that the whole Council is at fault, this practice is most likely common, and Fenty in particular is as dirty as they come.

Posted by: dcd1 | February 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Bennett is doing this to take the focus of FENTY he is up for reelection and he gave over $100million in contracts to his friends and it really voliated to $1 mil rule that the consuel review those contracts. Then on Christmas EVE She gave Banneker Ventures a check for $2.4 mil no one is investegating that this is a scam by FENTY. How much dod FENTY pay her to snitch. This is politics 101 Fenty's ratings are lower then thay ever been and still going lower he must divert the focus off him. Anyone that does not see this is blind and deaf!!!!!!

Posted by: mlhkfh | February 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Who cares.
White folks has stole this country dry.
Leave this man alone for a few dollars.
Posted by: K2007 | February 16, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse"

what makes you think black folk are guiltless when it comes to stealing this country dry...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

In the report, Bennett stated Barry violated "D.C. law, council rules and policies and procedures" and recommends his findings be referred to the U.S. Attorney for possible criminal charges.
________
Won't happen. Barry is a good Democrat, and Obama and others will do their best to protect him.....I see a Presidential Pardon coming....

Posted by: WildBill1 | February 16, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone tallied up the benefits accruing to Fenty's "friends" from Dysfunctional City's no-bid, sole-source contracts?

Posted by: kinkysr | February 16, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone tallied up the benefits accruing to Fenty's "friends" from Dysfunctional City's no-bid, sole-source contracts?

Posted by: kinkysr | February 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love the Barry defenders. Listen up the guy is a crook and a sham and an embarrassment to you.

Posted by: FLvet | February 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? When will the Wasington Post grow a pair and report on George Bush and his KLAN OF CRONIES and all of the stolen money that they walked off into the sunset with, and how they should be PROSECUTED....THEY "PERSONALLY BENEFITED" FROM THE ALL OF THE LIES THAT TOLD AND DEATHS THAT THEY CAUSED, AND NO BID CONTRACTS THAT THEY HANDED OUT IN AN UNJUST WAR!!!!

Posted by: TWilliams1 | February 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Barry steals from taxpayers.
The Sun rises in the east.
And it's cold in the winter.

Stay tuned for the news at 11.

Posted by: B-rod | February 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dkg4
------------------------------------
Special_One40,

Either you're really good at sarcasm, or your rambling shows that you have no understanding of what's happened and have totally lost your mind.
------------------------------------

I am glad someone else chimed in there. I thought "Specialone40" had been hitting the "special bong" prior to writing that.

White old boys club? Dear lord where have you been for the past 31 years. Barry was mayor from 79-91, then again from 95-99. This city was "chocolate city" for the past half century, and run by black officials for the past 31 of those years. Blaming this on "white folk" just goes to prove how racist you are.

The 80's and 90's DC papers were filled with the investigations, and payoffs, and graft perpetuated by Marion Barry and his administation. A dozen of his personal staffers ended up going to jail during that time. Mafia like "Sweetheart deals" were given out like candy to all of his friends and family in the city, despite the fact that all they did was spend it on themselves, rather than the services they were paid to do.

DC was literally bankrupt for the better part of a decade. Literally bankrupt.

We haven't even talked about his felony drug charges or his felony tax evasion which has been going on for another decade.

All of you 4th grade drop out Ward 8'ers who fall all over yourselves to support this man regardless of what he does are the ultimate fools.

You elect him over and over and have you bothered to look at what has happened in Ward 8 since 1979? Its twice a poor, the crime is twice as high and the high school graduation rate in Ward 8 has fallen by 60%. Yeah, good ol' Barry has really helped you out.

The man gave a city contract to completely unqualified girlfriend who we now find out, also owed him money. He would take her and her city issued check that he arranged to the bank, cash it so he could get "his" share, and you really don't see any sort of conflict of interest with that?

Hiring her for that job would be like hiring a landscaper to perform brain surgery.

"Hopefully" this will be the straw that breaks the camels back and gets this waste of oxygen and public tax dollars sent where he belonged 30 years ago. To jail.

Posted by: Nosh1 | February 16, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I cannot beleive that such an outstanding man as marion barry would violate the law. What is this world comming to?

Posted by: John1263 | February 16, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

TO: Special_One4

Are you crazy or just racist? You poor victim -- it's people like you that created, empowered and allowed Barry to be the crook that he was and is. You deserve what you have gotten. What should DC ever become a state? It can't handle the HIV epidemic, simple contracts or even a snowstorm. It is just so much easier to blame and be a victim. With Barry, you are in great company and deserve each other!

Posted by: wjfreeman1 | February 16, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Barry did nothing illegal? Personally benefiting from city contracts is illegal for an elected official. If the report is correct, Barry clearly gained personal benefit from the contract he gave to his girlfriend.

Forcing an employee or contractor to cash a check and then pay it back to the member directly is pretty much what former Ohio Congressman Jim Trafficant was sent to prison for. I forget the term for this (graft?), but do know that it's not legal.

Nevermind that as a DC Councilmember Barry has failed to pay his DC taxes and has gotten busted for multiple parole and probation term violations. This is the latest in a history of shameful acts committed by the disgraced former mayor.

Barry's excuse that his actions were justified because no ethics laws exist on the Council is pure rubbish. Barry has a Masters Degree. I'd expect someone with an advanced college degree would know (or should know) the difference between what is right and what is wrong, ethics rules be damned.

Jim Graham has a similarly questionable track record. Expect him to be put under similar scrutiny.

Posted by: nwrepresent1 | February 16, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"We conclude Mr. Barry breached the highest ethical standards expected of him," Bennett told the council.

What? People expected high ethical standards of him? Come now!

Posted by: Three3 | February 16, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

So What! Next! The current Mayor is robbing us blind.

Posted by: *Futurejumps | February 16, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Barry getting off has nothing to do with Obama. No presidential pardon. For one thing, Barry always get nothing more severe than probation, no matter who is President. He's been doing the same thing for decades, including when a Republican is in the White House. And the voters of Ward 8 don't seem bothered. Barry will stay the same, with no remorse, until the day he dies.

Posted by: Sutter | February 16, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of moving from the district and taking my tax dollars with me.

Posted by: christopbry | February 16, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

When citizens of the US accept the word 'interrogation' instead of torture; when citizens can be convinced that their own right to health care is a socialist evil; when citizens vote against themselves at every turn why is it any different that DC citizens would continue to vote for a man who has displayed nothing but ignorance and amorality from the early days of his power. Why should DC be any different? It's depressing but compared to the greed and sliminess of our "representatives" on the Federal level it is just more of the same on a local level. Every jurisdiction in this area has its own examples of sleazy deals. No one takes action. So what else is new?

Posted by: cometzbb | February 16, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

America, when will all of you grow tired of the theives in our Government an Governers, Mayors ?

Posted by: JWTX | February 16, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The question is—where’s the videotape to prove Barry received monies from Ms. Watts-Brighthaupt's contract?

It’s her word against his and it can’t be proven. CASE CLOSED!

Posted by: dcnatives | February 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The only surprise in Barry's continued criminal ride is that so many of his constituents don't care.

Posted by: sarahabc | February 16, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but the dumb-@ss race grievance poverty queens of Washington DC get what they deserve. Marion Barry is a 25 year crime-in-progress, and yet the people of DC send him back to office all the time.

Don't try to help Haiti people, help yourselves - because you are in no better shape than they are.

Posted by: pgr88 | February 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

When you keep re-electing crooks, crackheads, compulsive liars, and religious zealots to public office, why are you surprised when they do things that are unethical, immoral, and illegal?

You meaning the average American since Bush, Barry, and plenty of other crooks and nutjobs on both sides of the political aisle are routinely elected and re-elected. By contrast, people like Clinton and Edwards are vilified because they're bad husbands...

Posted by: shapeshifter77 | February 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

So Sad.

So Utterly Stupid.

Hizzoner may be the poster-child example of the ethically-challenged and morally bankrupt politician, but it is, quite unfortunately, a malady not exclusive nor confined to the D.C. government.

The defense to such charges always is "I broke no law", notwithstanding the obvious impropriety and the disgusting putrid smell of sleaze that oozes from such actions.

And you know what? Hizzoner just might be correct.

Not being illegal, however, does not make it right. Unfortunately, so long as such sleazy and, dare I say, arrogant politicians can wear such trials and tribulations as some perverted badge of honor on their sleeve to get re-elected, then I suppose their constituency has no right to complain, and really deserves what it votes for and gets. Too bad for Ward 8.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | February 16, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

WHY THE HELL IS THIS GUY STILL IN OFFICE!!!!!

Posted by: skinsfan15 | February 16, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Why is Barry still serving any kind of public role at all
BECAUSE the people who vote for him are IDIOTS and only vote based on color wow talk about reverse discrimination

Posted by: lildg54 | February 16, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

To dcnatives: You fool! That was why there was an independent investigation. Typical Washingtonian. Such a victim and the feds get to pick up the tab. Your attitude is a prime example of why DC will never get statehood.

Posted by: wjfreeman1 | February 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The question is—where’s the videotape to prove Barry received monies from Ms. Watts-Brighthaupt's contract?

It’s her word against his and it can’t be proven. CASE CLOSED!

Posted by: dcnatives | February 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

He keeps getting re-elected because of idiots like the one who made the post above
your basic he be black so he be innocent
wow what self absorbed hypocritical idiots

Posted by: lildg54 | February 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry did something corrupt?

I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

Posted by: Gladiator2008 | February 16, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"Who cares.
White folks has stole this country dry.
Leave this man alone for a few dollars.
Posted by: K2007 | February 16, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse
you have to laugfh at ther collective community who elects and re elects barry they are sad stupid racist and very much hypocritical wow

Posted by: lildg54 | February 16, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Make love....make love!!

Posted by: trippermeow | February 16, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The DC Council gave approval to the contract, the council member did not sign them, also this is being done all over where friend's and relatives get assistance from people in high position's, What's so new about that?
Check the employment of some people and I am sure that you will find that most of them know or knew someone to help them get a job, and if they owed for a loan, not a bribe, then they should pay up, What's the big issue, Stop throwing stone's if you could you would too, be VERY REAL |!!!

Posted by: onesugar | February 16, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

O sugar I be very real LOL you are a moron

Posted by: lildg54 | February 16, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

wjfreeman1 - stick to attacking the poster not the entire "protectorate" of DC. the vast majority of us have never voted for or supported Barry. you're as guilty of stereotyping as the one you're attacking.

Posted by: jloveland_sf | February 16, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Of course he was trying to infuse money back into Ward 8!

What's wrong with you people?

Where else do you think he was buying crack and paying prostitutes?

Posted by: Badger21 | February 16, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry is nothing more than a self serving thief who continues to use his elected office as a means to fleece the citizens of DC.

Posted by: miniaj | February 16, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

My friends, Barry will never leave because his constituents are just like him--worthless knee grows.

Posted by: tjhall1 | February 16, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Special_One40: You're just keeping it real??? You're an isiot. A moron. A chest-thumping troglodyte of the worst kind. You pretend that there is somehow a variant of original sin in which all the political, economic and cultural evils that exist, in which blacks participate, were handed down or "left over" from whites. Have you had your empty head buried in the sand over the past few months as countless white politicians and political operatives have reported to prison for (mostly) "honest services fraud" and conspiracy?

These points aside -- especially those covering what an absolute moron you are -- I agree with you that short of, say, being found in an inappropriate context with an underage girl, or with a smoking gun in his hand standing over a warm corpse, Mr. Mayor For Life should be left alone...unless of course Mr. Bennett is tasked to conduct similarly exhaustive investigations of the entire Council AND the Mayor's office...you know, the whole "goose...gander..." thing.

Posted by: paul20002 | February 16, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Eric Holder will will ensure he never stands trial.

Posted by: zendrell | February 16, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Dear special one... and friends.

It is apparent that you are confused. The expression "No one is perfect" is not a defense from the ramifications of our actions. It does not shield a person from responsibility for their actions. Nor is it a legal defense protecting people from being held accountable.

No one is perfect is a sentiment reflecting forgiveness, understanding or acceptance of our own imperfections. A willingness to move beyond our flaws, and it is only truly meaningful when a person accepts responsibility, atones for their misdeeds and is willing to be honest with the people they are responsible to.

Similarly, the idea that only a person who is flawless can 'cast the first stone' is equally misplaced in this scenario. First of all, Barry is not literally being stoned to death. Second of all the idea that a "sinner" should be forgiven is separated from the equally valuable biblical lesson that we are accountable for our actions. IF the allegations are true and Barry is guilty of committing a crime he should be charged. Beyond that, if there are no specific laws in place but his actions are found to be unethical and self serving he should be held accountable by the people of Washington, and this paper.

How did Barry gain? Well, let's explore that. If Barry loaned money to a woman who he knew was not in a position to pay him back in return for sexual favors. He gained sexual favors. Then, if he gave her a fake job in order to garnish her wages he effectively used public funds to pay for sexual favors. (prostitute?) Now if he obstructs the investigation he wastes more time and resources. All for his personal gain.

So, where are the young leaders or ward 8 his mistress was supposed to be ferreting out and supporting?

Is this a double standard? No. I hold the same standard should be true for all of our elected officials. Claiming that others get away with more is not a viable or logical defense and illuminates your faulty thinking.

Posted by: gconrads | February 16, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

jloveland_sf - You obviously don't understand the culture of DC. Who do you think reelected Barry - even after prison as Mayor and then returns him to the Council. The District gets what it deserves - and until things change - gets Barry because it SELECTS HIM AGAIN AND AGAIN. Nothing new here.

Posted by: wjfreeman1 | February 16, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

You have to understand that Politicians are ALL thieves!! They steal from hard working Americans, then fight on Capital Hill about how they are going to divvy up what they just stole from you and I. Marion is just not as good as the "Professional Thieves" on Cap Hill!

Posted by: lek91091 | February 16, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Barry has no morals, no ethics, and I can't figure out for the life of me how he continues to remain in any public office !!!

Posted by: ReneesOpinion | February 16, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this about the time when Mayor Barry always used to wrap himself in Kente cloth and claim racism?

I'd love to see his private holdings down in the Carribean. I just know he's got some righteous money stashed down there.

He's always given contracts to friends - remember the horrible hotel that was being used for housing homeless families and one woman, who had two kids, said she was afraid to let them walk down the hall there were so many drug addicts, etc. and yet that's who the city awarded the contract to because the owner was a friend of Barry's. So this latest is same ol same ol.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | February 16, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

As a recent transplant to NoVA and someone who has lived in a number of large metropolitan areas, I am continually surprised by the constant stream of corruption and outright stealing by District public officials. Scarcely a week passes without a new scandal. Thievery this widespread and on this scale is something unique to DC (with Chicago being a close second). It is a disgrace, and to those who continue to defend Barry ("Mr. Barry has been the best Mayor that the D.C. has ever had"???), I say you get what you deserve. The fact that the citizens of the District continue to re-elect someone who should be behind bars for any of a number of illegal acts, makes you the laughingstock of the rest of the country. It would be tragic if it were not so funny. Every time I hear Barry's PR mouthpiece utter the phrase "our beloved Mayor Barry", I have to laugh out loud. I suppose he is beloved....by the prostitutes and "friends" he supports with taxpayer money.

Posted by: mtaweigh | February 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

These comments show how pathetic DC residents really are. They are actually DEFENDING this corruption! How can you claim Barry did nothing illegal, when it's clearly illegal to participate in a decision in which you have a disqualifying financial interest? Barry's absurd defense is like claiming "How can I be speeding? There's no written procedure on how to read a speedometer." Okay, at some point, basic human intelligence is expected. Barry took an oath of office, he is expected to abide by the ethics laws. Anybody "defending" his actions is either a hypocrite or a moron.

Posted by: gasmonkey | February 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Bi*tch set him up . . . again.

Posted by: ah___ | February 16, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

As limited as the city's revenue base is why do they even have earmarks? How much have these earmarks contributed to our deficits? How much has each councilmember spent and on what?

As for Mr. Barry, why is anyone surprised?

Posted by: stucksong | February 16, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has defended Barry over the years, when this story broke a few months back I realized they finally got him. I said it then and I say it now, Barry will go down on this one. the question is will the man quietly walk away or will he try to make the situation about himself and bring media scrutiny. Barry needs to make a plea that he will leave public office and not seek re-election in DC again. that would suffice for most Washingtonians. Many don't want to see him in jail, but we don't want him in office either.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I fail to see how Barry's alleged misconduct bears upon whether D.C. receives statehood. Virtually every state in the country is filled with crooked politicians. The last four governors of Illinois are either in prison or under indictment. Should Illinois have its statehood revoked? Or is a different standard applied to D.C. because so many of its political leaders happen to be African-American?

Posted by: lydgate | February 16, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry for President!

Posted by: hogsmile | February 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Ward 8 should leveled and made into big park.

Posted by: kenk3 | February 16, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

What a guy!!!! MB should think about running for President; he has the right stuff.

Posted by: nosuchluck | February 16, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry is doing things that are illegal? Who would have thought? All I know is Ward 8 is apparently full of idiots because only idiots would elect Marion Barry.

Posted by: futbolclif | February 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Barry's got 99 problems.... and women are the root of all of them!

Posted by: AJohn1 | February 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The question, as I see it, is this:

Without any program standards, what did Bennett use for investigative criteria? In other words, what written standards did Barry violate or deviate from?

This was clearly a witch hunt! Bennett began his investigation with a forgone conclusuion: That Barry was a crook. Shame on you! I cant believe you actually tried to "Railroad" Barry into jail.

As Johnny Cochran said, "If the shoe don't fit...you must acquit."

Posted by: summabreze | February 16, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

If Barry had been white (I know, indulge me) would he have gotten away with anything?

Posted by: uncivil | February 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I cannot begin to describe my shock and disappointment that (Mayor) Councilman Barry has been accused of wrongdoing.

I was similarly shocked when I read, "We conclude Mr. Berry breached the highest ethical standards expected of him," Bennet told the council. Are you idiots? What "high standards" exactly did you expect of Marion Barry?

In fact, if you can convince Mr. Berry to cut back on his stealing it would be a victory for both the city and a sort of personal rehabilitation for the former Mayor. Tell him, "Hey, Marion, can we agree that you will only steal half as much next year." Both sides will come out ahead.

Posted by: abc1 | February 16, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The city is a sponge on everyone who communtes there to work and you can't even clear the sidewalks of snow. The city was clean and safe until you losers were given self government, animals who will be driven out by illegal aliens within the decade, then who are you going to blame for all of your troubles? Swamp dwellers, you can't spell, you can't work, you steal, parasites, no shame at all.

Posted by: eGREGie | February 16, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

What a slimy, despicable human being. He's essentially using public funds to pay for sex. And he thinks that's normal? Unbelievable. Ward 8 deserves him.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | February 16, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Better checked what happened down in Memphis to their mayor, before you run to the U.S. Attorney.

Honest service(s) just may not be what you think it is, under federal law.

Posted by: connerabr | February 16, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Does it really matter? It's not like anything Bary does could surprise anyone...

At the end of the day convict him, sentence him, remove him from office, do anything to him short of execution and the third world folks on the other side of the river in ward 8 will simply return him to office.

Corrupt? Without question. But he's the cujo we know versus Fenty, Gray and the rest of the collective idiots in DC government.

Simply amazing.

Posted by: randy_boyd | February 16, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Fenty bypassing council oversight by runnin contracts thru the park service and now Barry getting kickbacks from contracts he directed to his girlfriend?

The entire DC government should be investigated by the FBI under the RICO provision as an onging criminal enterprise.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | February 16, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry & moral ethics? Nonexistent...

Posted by: DCMax | February 16, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Barry learned from the BEST, with all those people over in the US Congress like Tom Delay, Abrhamoff, Bush, Cheney, and even Blajocovich up in Illinois .

Yet I don't see the US attorney concentrating on BUSH & Cheney who passed out No Cut, No Bid 10 year contracts .
For BILLIONS....
Do you?

Posted by: digtldesk | February 16, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

If anyone is surprised by this it would have to be the idiots who keep voting for him and expecting things to change in D.C....Good Luck with that!!

Posted by: hoffman770 | February 16, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry hasn't sent one job overseas for a political contribution. He has probably done a lot of things wrong, but the one thing he did right was look out for the well being of the poor and underprivileged.

The racist were out to get Marion Barry. If they had spent half the time investigating crooked congressmen as they did trying to catch Mr. Barry on some kind of trumped up charge, the country would be a lot better off.

If you think your Congressman is doing a good job on your behalf, check out the charts on
http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/faculty/hodgson/Courses/so11/stratification/income&wealth.htm. A careful examination will show that the middle class is at least 4.5 times worse off than we were in 1970.

Posted by: msmart2u | February 16, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Long live Hizzoner Marion Barry, Mayor-for-Life and fuel for talk show hosts. God Bless Him. Also, c'mon Ward 8.... please find a way to get this cat back in office. Should only take fewer than 5,000 votes, seeing as how apathy and lethargy are the prevailing principles in the 8th Ward.

Posted by: lingering_lead | February 16, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse


My goodness, Barry did something illegal and immoral? That should get him and extra 1K votes in good ole Ward 8.


Posted by: mortified469 | February 16, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Can we please just lock this criminal up once and for all and move on?

Posted by: ddnfla | February 16, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"We conclude Mr. Barry breached the highest ethical standards expected of him," Bennett told the council.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Therein lies the problem. No one expects Marion Barry to have ANY ethical standards. Barry wouldn't know what an ethical standard was if it jumped up and bit him on the arse.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 16, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Imagine my stunned disbelief at hearing that Marion Barry did something unethical. What would be surprising is to be told that there is someone actually surprised enough to find this news.

Posted by: bruno3 | February 16, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

sarahabc - it's not that the constituents don't care, it's their level of expectation of all elected officials. They figure everyone else is getting paid and beating the system, of which they are in various ways so why can't Barry? To many they do not differentiate between legality, unethical or questionable. I'm not defending Barry or those in Ward 8, just another perspective.

The fact DC council members make 6-figure salaries in supposedly PT positions is criminal within itself. That set up is the 1st step for corruption in that they hold a position on paper to bring some firm/employer prestige and favor for their name and do not do an ounce of work for what they are paid!

Posted by: oknow1 | February 16, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

The Energizer criminal. He just keeps going and going and going.

I feel like he deserves some kind of an award for skating for so many years.

Posted by: James10 | February 16, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Can somebody please grow some balls and put this man away once and for all? Or at least get him out of office?

Posted by: pplybon | February 16, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, that other black barry.

Posted by: Atenora | February 16, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm just gonna follow Barry around undercover w/ a digital movie camera for about a week. I should be able to get enough footage to sell to one of the networks for a season of reality TV. Ho chasing, graft, corruption, drugs. You name it, I'll have it...

Posted by: randysbailin | February 16, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Ward 8 full of crack heads, drug dealers, and thugs. Is there not one howard univ grad in that entire area who can putt this criminal out to pasture?

Posted by: Italiaxxx | February 16, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"The sad part is, if he were to run again for Mayor, he'd win. Only in DC can a crackhead /Tax evader, still have a political career. And people wonder why they have no representation on The Hill."

Absolutely not true. Barry is only electable in Ward 8. He would lose any run for Mayor.

And Barry is a disgrace. But he is no reason to deny half a million taxpaying Americans basic democracy.

The two issues are totally unrelated.

I don't see you advocating stripping Louisiana residents of voting rights. After all, their congressman was recently convicted of literally hiding bribes in his freezer.

Posted by: Hillman1 | February 16, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Barry and Congressmen Rangel must use the same ETHICS ADVISOR!!!

Posted by: doughboy96 | February 16, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Another chapter in the never-ending saga of player-for-life.

Posted by: properbostonian1 | February 16, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Hang his butt..............

He should not be above the law.

He should set an example.

***********

Posted by: paulann1 | February 16, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

The B*tch set me up? Deja vu all over again.

Posted by: wjc1va | February 16, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"I am a different kind of council member," Barry said. "I ran to get resources, to uplift people of Ward 8 to do everything I can to empower them."

He is producing results for Ward 8 just like he producted results for our school children when he figured out how to empower black politicians by using the school board, destroying the school system in the process.

The sad thing is there are a large number of people who still think he can do no wrong and should get off with no reprisals.

Chairman Gray, you called for this special investigation, now the ball is in your court. Show us you actually have some balls, that you can do more than just cry that Fenty is not being a nice boy. Stand up to this criminal.

Posted by: streff | February 16, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Barry is in the wrong country. He would be completely at home and a multi millionare in a government job in South Africa.

Posted by: daniel110 | February 17, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Black folks, two wrongs do not make a right so please, for Christ sake, stop taking up for this crook. Many say things like: let the person without sin throw the first stone, Barry ain't done nothing wrong, leave the man alone 'cause he's done great things for this city! SHOW ME! For the past 20 yrs, almost every night, a black man or person has been shot and killed in this city; 95% of all new HIV cases are in DC; Almost 50% of black youth drop out of school, and this is the nation's capital, the most important city in the world; Single, uneducated,unemployed mothers having 3,4,5 babies by as many different fathers; I could go on and on with these dire stats but you get the picture. As for Ward 8, isn't it STILL the poorest ward in DC? And we wonder why they don't give us statehood. Sure, the white man can be just as corrupt but when will we learn? Peace.(And I'm black!)

Posted by: hairstonpamela | February 17, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Don't beat up the city of DC for the bad things people in office do. In the best of us there's some bad and in the worst of us there's some good. Nothing happens by coincidence. Barry's troubles are related to something else which I don't have to say. The city knows it's a reason why they are focusing on him now. But the crime, pregnacy, and education is all a scam. They have all kinds of police departments in DC (Park,DC,ATF,SS,CIA,FBI,FEDs,etc.etc.)protecting people from around the world so why is it that the blacks appear to kill each other. Take away your resources and you will turn on your best friend. Crack isn't grown in DC but it finds it way in. Guns are not manufactured but they find there way in. Why do you think the majority of violent crimes are done on one side of the city? All of this is done by design, it's not a coincidence. The city is cleansing itself. DC will be another place in 20 years. All the so call modern day political crooks will be gone and only a few of our grandchildren would care enough to research these comments on the internet. Look at it this away. Marion will be fine. He's done good and bad. Pick another city big or small and there's another Marion, black, white, Asian, you name one. What has been shall be and what is has been. There's nothing new under the Sun! The truth shall come to light...

Posted by: lmnnz2003 | February 17, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

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