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Mayor candidates differ on need for an elected A.G.

Washington Post Editors

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said Wednesday night that he has concerns about creating an elected attorney general position because, he said, it would force the city to hire two sets of attorneys - one for the mayor and the government and another for the public-- at a significant cost to taxpayers.

On Wednesday, the D.C. Council authorized a referendum for the November ballot asking voters if they want the attorney general to be elected. Some council members are pushing for the change because they fear appointed attorney generals in general - and Attorney General Peter Nickles specifically - have been too cozy with the mayors that appoint them.

"You are essentially creating two different sets of attorney generals," Fenty said. "Ones that are elected and then we will have to have a whole separate budget for ones that are appointed."

Fenty's rival for the Democratic nomination, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, disputed that an elected attorney general could also not represent the elected mayor on litigation matters. Gray noted that the office of the Chief Financial Officer stated an elected attorney general would not result in more costs for taxpayers. In Virginia, for example, the attorney general's office represents the governor during lawsuits.

After Fenty gave his statement on the issue, the mayoral candidates forum ended. Gray immediately walked up to Fenty and appeared whisper off-mic, "It's not true." Fenty responded with a grin, "Alright, have a good a night."

In an interview later, Gray said he didn't tell Fenty that he wasn't truthful.

"My statement to him was why don't you go research that Mr. Mayor and check the fiscal impact statement," Gray said.

--Tim Craig

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 3, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray  
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Comments

"Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said Wednesday night that he has concerns about creating an elected attorney general position because, he said, it would force the city to hire two sets of attorneys - one for the mayor and the government and another for the public"

It's not as if the current AG is serving the public anyhow. Fenty's only concern is to ensure that the AG solely supports and protects his (Fenty's) agenda and unilateral decisions.

Posted by: logosdesigns | June 3, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Amen to that.

Posted by: robostop10 | June 3, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Fenty's comment is ludicrous. An AG who does his job properly represents the interests of the entire government - including the Mayor and Executive Branch - as well as that of the people. And there is now, and assumedly would continue to be, a separate office of General Counsel to the Mayor, located within the Executive Office of the Mayor. (That's the job that God-Daddy Peter "Wooden" Nickles was first appointed to... before he decided to force Linda Singer out and take over the job of AG as well.)

Posted by: nan_lynn | June 3, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, everyone has weeded through the Mayor's B.S.

The Executive Office of the Mayor, TODAY, has a general council that represents the Mayor, and the city is 'supposed' to have an Attorney General who represents the interest of the District of Columbia, even from the Mayor, if the Mayor was in violation of the law.

That is how it SHOULD be. However, when the Mayor appoints both, there inlies a genuine conflict of interest.

Enter: Peter Nickles.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 3, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

When has Adrian"I-stole-the old-man's-money"Fenty ever cared about how much more money the citizens would have to pay out for any service? Never! This loser needs a separate AG just to cover his ass. The real question should be, which AG outranks the other? Also I heard that Mr. Mayor has a sweet-heart on 56th street, NE. The little toy car, Mr. Mayor loves to ride in solo was given a traffic ticket-ala speed cameras, in a unmarked police car. I just heard about this yesterday.

Posted by: fivetogo | June 3, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow!

Posted by: drfields | June 3, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Fenty is fast moving from super silly to super DUMB. Every time he opens his mouth a LIE falls out.

Keep him talking and you will definitely have a new mayor in 2010.

Posted by: fmurray200111 | June 3, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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