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