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UPDATED: Nickles demands Barry apologize for racism accusation against city official

Attorney General Peter Nickles is demanding that Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) apologize to a top Fenty administration official for accusing her of having racist hiring practices.

In a letter sent to Barry last night, Nickles said the council member verbally attacked Julie Hudman, the director of the Department of Health Care Finance, at an oversight hearing on Monday. Barry accused Hudman of "apartheid-style action" and said she ran an "all-white department," according to Nickles.

"Your data was inaccurate, but you continued to make accusations about the racial and ethnic makeup of the employees at the Department and implied intentional racist and illegal conduct on the part of Dr. Hudman and the leadership team," Nickles wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post.

"There is no place for such baseless and incendiary accusations in this government. You owe doctor Hudman an apology and you must cease immediately your constant harassment of the director and her staff."

Barry told Hudman he would go to the Department of Health Care Finance to examine the racial makeup of the staff himself. Nickles is instructing him not to, telling the former mayor "that would be completely inappropriate."

Update, 10:10 a.m.
Barry denies calling Hudman a racist, adding he "resents" the assertion.

But Barry said he has major concerns about the number of African-Americans in top-level positions in Hudman's agency. Barry said a few weeks ago he requested data from the agency on top-level staffers' race and residency, but the agency failed to send him the race data.

Barry then, he claims, obtained the information another way, although he declined to be specific.

"There were four blacks out of the [top] 19 positions, the rest of them were white," Barry alleges. "Something is wrong with that picture."

--Tim Craig

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By Tim Craig  |  May 6, 2010; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  Marion Barry , Tim Craig  | Tags: Marion Barry, Racism  
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Comments

Barry has a lot of nerve to cry racist. To this day we still deal with the ineffecient, ineffective, unqualified and insolent DC "employees for life" that he hired back in his term. He really better be careful not to go down that road.

Posted by: tsqnova | May 6, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Barry's many decades of hypocrisy and racial divisiveness continue....

One wonders what it will take to get the guy locked up. How many violations of probation will he be allowed? The irony of a tax cheat sitting on the Council is rich...but--being DC--not really shocking.

When he dies, he'll get a posthumous courtesy he does not deserve: a hero's funeral instead of the unattended prison grave site that would be appropriate.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | May 6, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Considering Blacks make up only 12% of the national population, I say 4 out of 20 is pretty good. The Black population in DC--which is fast declining--is having a difficult time accepting the fact that the District is changing rapidly both economically and racially. It is quickly ceasing to be the welfare state which it has been for the past several decades.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | May 6, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Once again, this is Barry's act to save his own behind. Move along, nothing new to see here.

Posted by: hoos3014 | May 6, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm an African American DC resident, and I'm sick and tired of Marion Barry. He just needs to go AWAY!

Posted by: linroy62 | May 6, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Puleeze, Mr. Barry . . . you are, still, an idiot.

Posted by: Morgantoo | May 6, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Of course, you would say this when these actions of Nickles do no directly effect you. Barry, has and still does represent people who voices are not heard in certain political arenas. I say, right on Barry continue to do what you are doing!

Posted by: md1014 | May 6, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

O.K., let me be clear, national race statistics, Barry's hiring practies, nor his tax situation are relevant factors in this discussion. D.C.'s demographic is unique amongst major U.S. cities for it's predominantly black population. D.C. government staff should be somewhat,not necessarily reflective of this. While Blacks have faced all types of discrimination (housing, Hiring,judicial system-the list goes on and on) throughout this "free" country of ours D.C. (post 60s) is again unique. How funny it is when folks get an inkling of a taste of their own medicine. Get over yourselves and just deal with it whiners! If not go back to the MIdwest, South, North, southwest or wherever you came from!D.C. is forever ours and that will never change.

Posted by: DCScribe1 | May 6, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"There were four blacks out of the [top] 19 positions, the rest of them were white," Barry alleges. "Something is wrong with that picture."
-----------------------------------
Yes, there is something wrong, but its not hwta Barry wants. As long as the most qualigief people who applied got the jobs, then the only issue is why are there not more highly qualified blacks applying to these jobs? Giving someoen the job because of their race rather than their merits is the fastes way to turn that department into pure trash. Yes its a shame that so few blacks were in the qualified pool, but you cannot blame the department head for hiring the most qualified people. Barry should be working to get the black population more educated and into more professional studies.

Posted by: schnauzer21 | May 6, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Corrected version-O.K., let me be clear, national race statistics, Barry's hiring practies, nor his tax situation are relevant factors in this discussion. D.C.'s demographic is unique amongst major U.S. cities for it's predominantly black population. D.C. government staff should be somewhat, not necessarily directly, reflective of this. While Blacks have faced all types of discrimination (housing, Hiring,judicial system-the list goes on and on) throughout this "fair, free" country of ours. D.C. (post 60s) is again unique. How funny it is when folks get an inkling of a taste of their own medicine how they react. Get over yourselves and just deal with it whiners! If not go back to the MIdwest, South, North, southwest or wherever you came from!D.C. is forever ours and that will never change.

Posted by: DCScribe1 | May 6, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow, such anger and hate on both sides. What's it going to take to end this tension? Quite frankly, I am sick of hearing it EVERY day.

Posted by: ericroks | May 6, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

eric, Here, here. I agree completely.

Posted by: smirkman | May 6, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for hiring the most qualified, however in D.C.'s demographic the ratio depicted above seems a little out of line. I've heard from a reliable source that the aforementioned Director is a "Nice" person. My major point ins Nicles has bigger fish to fry, He mayor is encountering numerous problems/lawsuits on Nickles' watch. This is purely a distraction initiated by Nickles.

Posted by: DCScribe1 | May 6, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Nickles should apologize for his racially biased policies against the cab drivers.

Posted by: starclimber9 | May 6, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Barry is a looser and a criminal.He should have been behind bars long ago. He is only trying to distract others from his own transgressions. Can't wait for Barry to be gone! Dc should hire the most qualified person, regadless of race. Didn't MLK say we should be judged on the content of our character!?!!...and dosen't that leae Barry n the gutter!!

Posted by: lsf07 | May 6, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Barry....thanks for looking out...they would love to see you go. Keep working for the people who put u in office...

Posted by: dcynnep | May 6, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Barry....thanks for looking out...they would love to see you go. Keep working for the people who put u in office...

Posted by: dcynnep | May 6, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

What about the DC government offices that are 90% or more black? Any racism there?

Posted by: joeg20003 | May 6, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Why is the District's Chief Legal Adviser involved in the discussion in the first place? "There's something wrong with that!" Black or White, "checks and balances" is the real issue. The Council Member has every right to question disparities in the racial and ethnic composition of City Agencies, given the fact their budgets are supported by tax dollars paid by many African Americans. To Council Member Barry's credit (although sometimes viewed as his achilles heel), he is respected in the Black community because he does not back down simply because folks find what he has to say uncomfortable. It is clear from the posts here that many simply do not understand the principles of "affirmative employment." It has nothing to do with being qualified or not. It has to do with recruiting QUALIFIED employees from an applicant pool that reflects the community. This pool is formulated based upon CENSUS DATA. If there is significant disparity in hiring, attention should be called to it, and the AG should re-think how he responds to the Council Member. Moreover, he is coming quite close to violating the principle of checks and balances and the role of the "executive branch." Injustice includes racial disparity in a City that is still 57% African American, and increasingly diverse. The District has also a "transient quality" that out-of-towners pick up on, which they self-invite and impose a "we are going to save D.C. attitude." This attitude is pervasive and ridiculous. "Folks," I hope you are paying attention!

Posted by: DZPost | May 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

No problem here, put a few Spanish, and Asians in the mix too.

Posted by: reesemichael | May 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Those people are the biggest racists of them all, and the biggest idiots also, to continue to elect a true piece of S like Barry

Posted by: DCFanatic | May 6, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see that at least one Department in DC is run by mostly whites. Less cronyism and corruption, more integrity, and far less chance of hundreds of thousands of dollars simply disappearing like a fart in the wind to pay for fur coats, Lexus SUVs, and Carribean vacations for fat non-white women.

Posted by: realist2 | May 6, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Who is Peter Nickles to criticize Marion Barry? Last I checked Mr. Nickles didn't even live in DC. If Barry's assertion is correct, then there may not be "racism" with a capital R. However, it might indicate bias. The demographics of the city are changing, but blacks are still the majority in DC. How are hiring decisions made within that department?

Posted by: CurseofUnseld | May 6, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Put Barry on a bus headed out of town.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 6, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Barry should pass a law requiring people who's race he doesn't approve of to wear a yellow star or something like that. Or maybe issue "racial purity" cards?

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | May 6, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm a black DC resident and I do not know what disgust me more, Barry's comments or the commenters on this site asserting that blacks want a free handout. The city's demographics are changing and that is the beauty of DC. Barry's methods is alike to McCain/Palin campaign strategy against our current administration. The nation did not fall for the propaganda and neither will DC, well at least uptown, the southside are loyal Barry supporters which may be the reason why progress is slower there.

Posted by: ClevenderInDC | May 6, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse


Blacks, always crying and whining about something, so sick of it. Boo f'ing hoo, let's all cry them a river.


Posted by: savethepcbs | May 6, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

BTW realist2, Cleveland Ohio was rated the most misreable city by Forbes. The main reason main reason is political corruption, guess what color the vast majority of the perpetrators where.....white. Most white collared crime commited by you know who, and DC rise from a crime ridden city was lead by a black mayor...Anthony Williams. Think before you talk/type.

Posted by: ClevenderInDC | May 6, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Bary doubtless is ticked-off because he knows he doesn't stand a chance of partaking of a white woman's endearing young [or maturing] charms.

Posted by: kinkysr | May 6, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

You are too funny realist2 ... I would love to say hire the competent ones, but I do know that the cronyism started in the Caucasus Mountains ... or whereever the europeans claim to have come from. As far as big and fat ... I think the european women own that distinction.

Posted by: gordonj1 | May 6, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to defend Marion Barry in the least bit, but let's be frank about hiring practices in DC government. there's a 10-year trend of White is right quite often! You see a lot of these young 20-somethings, with little to no real work history and they come in high and move up rapidly!!! they don't have a good work ethic and quite frankly crumble when the times get tough. But they have security blankets that protect them despite their shortcomings and failings. They are all throughout DC government.

A prime example of one that was exposed was the 34-year old CFO at DCPS, Noah Wepman. Not only was Noah Wepman, not prepared to be CFO of DCPS, 8-9 years earlier he was Finance Manager or Admin Officer for the DCPS Special Ed program. that was over $400 million in local funds and grants to manage and administer. The program was an absolute mess!

Are there good white employees in DC government, he11 yes. I worked with more of them than the favored and connected ones i complain about. I don't want to give the impression there aren't good white workers. They are career employee that have earned their stripes. There are many white and other workers that will sit here and make note of the same stuff i speak including blacks affored the same priviledge. As a black person i must admit there are incompetent Blacks that are politically connected and protected too. However, they don't tend to rise or be elevated beyond having a decent/modeest job. these white kids move around and rise quickly, then you find out they are a manger or supervisor somewhere and they are set.

Posted by: oknow1 | May 6, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Kill them all.

Posted by: shadon1 | May 6, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I got an even better on e for ya'll. Why are most men hired by DCPS homosexual? Don't believe me visit downtown and check the men out. We already know lots of teachers and principals that were hired are homosexual.

Posted by: truthseeker3 | May 6, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I got an even better on e for ya'll. Why are most men hired by DCPS homosexual? Don't believe me visit downtown and check the men out. We already know lots of teachers and principals that were hired are homosexual.

Posted by: truthseeker3 | May 6, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Dunno truthseeker! Let them take a peak at your bottom LOL!

Posted by: gordonj1 | May 6, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

You've got to hand it to Mayor-for-Life Barry --"I never said she's a racist, BUT..." rofl.

Inquiring minds want to know if most of the people at the Department of Health Care Finance are personal friends of Adrian Fenty, since that was Barry's last personnel beef. DC Oldtimers remember his ex-wife, Mary Treadwell and that she ended up going to jail for embezzling District funds. I guess he's mad that he isn't getting a piece of the pie to hand out to supporters.

Posted by: elizestrada | May 6, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Look Barry, even if it is racism, you've made the situation worse with your antics. Retire already!

Posted by: UnknownHenson | May 6, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I am African American, born and raised in Southeast DC(Ward 8)with a college degree. I believe Mr. Barry was bring awareness to an observation. He can suspect racism, but he offered no conclusive information or evidence to qualify Mr. Nickles'position as fact that Mr. Barry described the department or its employees as staff. For the record, DC has more Phd recipients than NY city. DC is considered one of the most educated cities in the world. However, it is suspicious that a city with 60% of its population being African American only 25% of executive tean in this department or agency is Black. I brings on multiple concerns.

Posted by: Kevin_J_Jenkins | May 6, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

barry... the quintisential >> well you know...


barry > look ted is lonesome.. he needs some company... go crawl in the hole with him > the sooner the better...

or > go out and smoke your crack and drive your car off the bridge.. PLEASE!!! do us a favor

Posted by: kglkgl06 | May 6, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin_J_Jenkins--

Did they teach you to proofread your work in college? I'm not really sure what you were trying to say...

Posted by: ceebee2 | May 6, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

How many white people are there on Barry's staff?

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | May 6, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow!

Posted by: drfields | May 6, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow!

Posted by: drfields | May 6, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@drfields the same number as the ones on BIG John Thompson's Georgetown University Basketball team. As other commenters have noted there are plenty throughout upper D.C. goverment management without the experience or know how to man those positions. Barry's not yessa' bossin' to anybody. That's why he's so hated. Of course he's made major mistakes, but you menat to tell me Hoover, Reagan, Noxon, and Jesse Helms didn't. I could go on and on.

Posted by: DCScribe1 | May 6, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm far from being a fan of Barry, but it just shows how wrong Fenty and his gang are when I think Nickles has absolutely no business or right in demanding an apology from Barry. Peter Nickles needs to collect a free pair of shoes from Fenty's parents and go on a very long run out of DC.

Posted by: blankspace | May 6, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

BARRY ,BARRY,BARRY
TO BAD THE REST OF THE FOLKS SITTING ON THEIR HANDS WONT JOIN IN AND CALL THE FENTY GANG WHAT IT IS.
AND WHAT'S CHILDREN OF THE PEOPLE WHO BUILT THE CAPITOL HAVING AN EQUAL SLICED OF THE PUBLIC PIE.
I SAY FIRE FENTY FOR HIRING A FOOL LIKE HER WHO CAN'T BE FROM DC.

Posted by: iismoody | May 6, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The only things Marion Barry is good at are crack smoking, tax evading (heck, he's not even good at that), and playing the race card himself off the bottom of the deck. He is as plain racist as they come - the only problem is that due to his skin color, he can be racist and proud of it. It ain't racism if your corruption is taking care of yo baby-mommas and brotha's in da hood.

Posted by: habari2 | May 6, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

@eric - the short answer is that it likely never will end. as long as race-baiters like jackson, sharpton and barry exist, it's sadly the truth. oh, and as long as with impunity blacks can vote for obama based on his skin color and not be persecuted as racist themselves.

Posted by: habari2 | May 6, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Barry is the reigning leader of racial politics in the District. I sometimes wonder if this is just an act to imbue him to his core supporters, the underclass, who are more likely to believe that 'The Man' is out to get them or if he really believes this.
Either way I feel sorry for him. He is just a running joke for late nite comics.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | May 6, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Barry's brain is damaged by crack and who knows what else! Probably better to just consider the source and move on. Unless someone wanted to list all the friends and FOFs that Barry hired during his terms. Possibly he's doing this to distract his constituents from his ongoing financial/tax problems.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | May 6, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

With Barry's proposed ratio of whites-to-blacks probably makes it the best run department of all DC..

Posted by: dcdoug | May 6, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey Marion. How many whites on your staff?

Posted by: dchillrat | May 6, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Getting called a racist by Marion Barry is like being called ugly by a frog.

Posted by: gmuhokie2009 | May 6, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

shadon1 wrote: Kill them all.

I see you are a Spartacus fan. LOL LOL

Posted by: Ward4DC | May 7, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

truthseeker...you have a point there. I was at a meeting recent...I said to myself either there was a want-ad placed in the AQ (A-Sexual Quarterly) or this is the most effeminate group of men I send in one-setting. I beg of the public the next DCPS meeting...you will either be bombarded with white females or gay males both demographics are not representative of the city.

Posted by: PowerandPride | May 7, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I am among the many African American residents of SE DC with masters level degrees. The suggestion that African Americans are not qualified for these jobs is preposterous. If the ACTUAL demographics do not match, in percentage, to executive level percentages in DC government it is cause for concern. The administration that oversees streetcars in DDOT does not have even one black senior manager and the rank and file are nearly 95% white. Same for the annacostia cleanup agency.

Racism is a strong accusation, but preference in hiring is easy to ascertain.

What many white liberals seem to want from blacks is just a vote. After the election their vile stereotypes can be worse than that of many southern republicans.

They make the tea party look appealing to those sick of them and the republicans.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | May 7, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Let's talk for a minute about representative government that Barry says he is SO concerned with. What does it say on the DC license plate???? Taxation w/o representation Those who pay taxes should be represented! The demographic (i.e. White people) who pay taxes in DC is A LOT different from the demographic (i.e. black people) who don't pay, better yet they get most of the money the White people pay in taxes via government checks and free services. In DC, those who are taxed ARE NOT fairly represented, if they were, the government would be mostly White. Two-thirds of the District is on Medicaid... the one-third left over is mostly White. What Barry is saying is: I want more Black people to decide how White people's money should be spent on Black people. It may make you mad to see the reverse racism here, and you may deny it, but it is the direct result of the liberal agenda to create a welfare state which does nothing but destroy human integrity and contribute to the 'victim mentality'

Posted by: jjindc1 | May 13, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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