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Posted at 3:41 PM ET, 02/23/2011

Gray defends controversial hires and salaries

By Nikita R Stewart

Mayor Vincent C. Gray denied cronyism in hiring a former mayoral candidate and children of two top aides and a confidant.

Gray (D), whose successful campaign against predecessor Adrian M. Fenty (D) included advertising charging cronyism, said everyone hired was qualified to do their jobs.

In recent days, The Washington Post and other media have revealed that children of adviser Lorraine Green, communications director Linda Wharton Boyd and chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall have landed jobs in the administration. They are all making between $55,000 and $85,000 annually.

"How do you give young people an opportunity to become the leaders of tomorrow?" Gray asked Wednesday during his weekly news conference.

Sulaimon Brown, a minor candidate in the mayor's race, is now a special assistant in the Department of Health Care Finance. Brown, who has said he is an auditor, became a sort of tag team wrestler with Gray in debates with Fenty. Brown would tell voters to cast their ballots for Gray.

Gray said Brown's help during the election was unsolicited. He said Brown "sought this out himself."

"We actually connected him to the Department of Health Care Finance," Gray said.

Many staffers are making more than their counterparts in the Fenty administration. Gray defended the payroll boosts, saying that salaries were based on a "person's experience, the responsibilities they will assume."

He added later that the government is full of "excepted service" positions. Wilson Building insiders refer to them as political hires.

Gray explained that they are hired at will. "And frankly, (excepted service) allows them to go out the door in the same manner," he said.

By Nikita R Stewart  | February 23, 2011; 3:41 PM ET
Categories:  Nikita Stewart, Vincent C. Gray  
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Comments

OK -- so when will Mayor Gray start showing some of them the door? He needs to either cut the number of people working for his administration or severely reduce their salaries.

We are paying half a million dollars to JUST his chief of staff and the city administrator?? And the city administrator doesn't even have any experience doing the kind of job he is now being asked to do!

This is a metropolitan area that has seen MANY, MANY talented, middle-aged people lose their jobs through RIFs and buyouts in the past few years. There are literally THOUSANDS of people -- and many of them D.C. residents -- who would be willing to work for the Gray administration for roughly $100,000 a year, instead of the $150,000 to $300,000 salaries the mayor is paying.

There is no lack of experience available to fill the city's jobs. There is only a lack of willingness to actually look for qualified people who aren't political hacks.

Posted by: Kathy8 | February 23, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Well said Kathy8

Posted by: DCJUSTICE | February 23, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Considering the size of DC it's not surprising that the connected get at will jobs. This article should have included their qualifications then people can make a decision about how/why they got their jobs. If they're qualified that's the way it works - it's not what you know it's who you know.

Posted by: rlj1 | February 23, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Gray: your true colors only took 6 weeks to show.

Cronyism has not left DC.

THE KING IS DEAD.
LONG LIVE THE KING.

Posted by: Greent | February 23, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

You should credit WAMU-FM for first reporting the hiring of Green and Hall!

http://wamu.org/news/11/02/15/children_of_two_gray_advisers_land_city_government_jobs.php

( disclosure - I was the reporter :)

Posted by: jpatrickmadden | February 23, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Well this is not the second coming of Marion Barry - yet. Give Gray time, he's clearly on the right track, if you think corruption and cronyism are elements of the right track.

So when can we expect the second coming of the Control Board?

Posted by: pirate1 | February 23, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse


Six weeks in, and already we have a corrupt DC government.

Nasty.

Posted by: kenk33 | February 23, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

This article in incomplete without stating the education and experience of the "children" who were hired. If they have the requisite education and experience then why shouldn't they get a job?

Colin Powell's son worked in the FCC. The man graduated from william and mary, served his country as a soldier, earned a juris doctorate from Georgetown Law, and worked for other companies before going to the FCC. People called his appointment (by Bill Clinton) cronyism. It wasn't.

If you want to call yourself a reporter, then do more than scratch the surface on these stories. Otherwise, you're just a half a$$ed blogger.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | February 23, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick of white American media harassing, smearing and discrediting African American politicians (we still remember the ongoing campaign whenever Marion Barry’s name is mentioned) about how much they spend for clothing (or in Michelle Obama’s case doesn’t spend on the inexpensive dress she had altered) or who they choose to hire when in this town as in every town in America, white politicians have historically hired wives, sons, daughters, cousins, brothers and any other relatives or friends they want and even continue the tradition (as in the long line of Irish police/firemen around this country to this very day). But we also are very well aware of the unwritten agreement among white media entities not to portray their own in the same light as non-whites have always been portrayed (let us not also mention the Hispanic illegal aliens or other non-white immigrants in America or how much differently they are treated in regard to their immigration status and difficulties in obtaining citizenship or in avoiding deportation these days).
Now we are all we aware that the Bush daughter walked right into the cherished broadcasting job with virtually no experience whatsoever shortly after graduating from college, but there was no big media campaign or cover story regarding all of these perks that politicos kids, friends, relatives get in this city and around the country, while everyone else with much more education and experience are languishing in the unemployment pools in DC, New York City and all over this country. Where is the story on all of those kids, wives (Clarence Thomas’ wife is starting her own new business using her Washington contacts), friends and relatives if you really want a great story and stop blowing up Gray’s choices. Capitol Hill is so full of patronage jobs it will make your head swim (that translates into political favors for friends and donors and it does not require any particular qualifications or experience). Anyone who has worked on the Hill and in this city knows it is simply the order of the day!!!! If you are going to report it tell the ENTIRE STORY, STARTING ON THE HILL AND WORKING ON DOWN TO THE CITY FOLKS!!!

Posted by: hotezzy | February 23, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I am not saying I agree with this, BUT:

1. it's not illegal
2. it happens everywhere.

I have several friends from college and law school working on the hill or in the obama administration, and their parents are either big in the current administration or in previous democratic administrations. singling out gray without providing that context seems unfair.

Posted by: darrren12000 | February 23, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

PS: Suddenly, people disagree with "legacy" hires. But it's ok to hire whites and admit them to colleges because of their parents' background -- even to STATE (i.e., taxpayer-funded) instititions.

Posted by: darrren12000 | February 23, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh. Here we go. This guy's a complete waste of time. Back to the Eighties. Dude gives me the creeps.

Posted by: skinswitabullet | February 23, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"'How do you give young people an opportunity to become the leaders of tomorrow?' Gray asked Wednesday during his weekly news conference."
You have them go to good schools and you have them COMPETE with other similarly qualified individuals for jobs. You do no one a favor by coddling them and engaging in nepotism.
He's going to outdo his predecessors for this last waltz of his career and you can see this one coming from the summer headlines; "DC Summer Youth Jobs Program Running Out of Funds (to pay PG youths with fake addresses at grandma's old house in DC)for No Show Jobs"

Posted by: blankspace | February 23, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@hotezzy – You get the government you deserve, my brother. And please tell me with whom are you angry? The media for reporting (or not reporting) such things? If so, your anger is misplaced. Keep your eye on the ball.

Posted by: Mathonwy | February 23, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I am a high school graduate, no college degree or technical knowledge and I'm 58 years old. Can I get a job with Vincent Gray?

Posted by: skinfreak | February 23, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Everything is the fault of the people who don't look like us. For hundreds of years, those people have been shirking their responsibility yet are quick to blame us for our own failings in that regard. Damn those people who don't look like us. Life would be so much better if everyone looked like we do.

Posted by: Mathonwy | February 23, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Business as usual in DC.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | February 23, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Wow! To some it's always about race. Grow up 1diots!!

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 23, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow! To some it's always about race. Grow up 1diots!!

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 23, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I am not buying the best and brightest explanation. Not when an ex felon without a high school diploma can secure a 65k/yr job from the Gray Administration without competing for that job. What about the young people that stay on the straight and narrow, go to school, get good grades, go on to college and successfully acquire degrees? They, if not connected, have to apply for jobs, compete with all other applicants and the best candidate gets the job, we assume. These unqualified mayoral appointees are an end run around competition during one of the cities harshest recessions. It just is not appropriate. Raising the salary cap on executive staff during a record budget deficit is misguided and irresponsible.

I would be a hypocrite if I didn't call this Administration out in the same way I did the Fenty Administration.

Cronyism by any other name is still cronyism.

Gray is defending the indefensible.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 23, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"How do you give young people an opportunity to become the leaders of tomorrow?"

Through a meritocracy, with open competition to the highest qualified and a level playing field.

Not through a a feudal divine right of nepotistic corruption.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | February 23, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Cronyism at its worse, or should I say at its best. I am fed up with the CRONYISM, you guys are all BS and if the citizens of Washington, DC dont react as those who did in Tripoli, Libya, Tehran and Bahrain we will appear just as two faced as the leaders we elect! How can a guy run for mayor on the crusade to end cronyism and wind up being a Crony himself. How can the CHAIR of the COUNCIL run on a platform of fiscal responsibility and have his own Personal Debt up to the Kazoo that he cant afford to wipe his A55, yet lead the Council and personally order two Lincoln Nav's one for him and one for his wife!! Yes, that is what my closest contacts to him state it was all about. Recover his deleted emails, the interior color was fine for him but the second one he ordered for his wife (WHO BY THE WAY AINT A COUNCILMEMBER) she didnt dig the interior, and anyway Kwame got caught and tried to delete the emails. Look, Let not take our time and let these two dopes run our city when it is clear neither one has run anything successfully noted in their entire careers! Both have gotten caught doing the exact same thing they SUPPOSEDLY ran against. We arent fools, lets hit FB Myspace and demand the resignation of both Kwame and Gray for misleading us. We can meet at the Mayors office and City Council tomorrow at 8am to demand their immediate resignation. Those who have the guts to not stand for this crap will show up, those who wont, well "SAME AS IT EVER WAS"!

Respond to this post if you are down! The people united and we wont be defeated!

Posted by: Fred23 | February 23, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/16/friend-of-gray-hired-for-dc-job/

Read this artice and then tell me how it's different from Fenty. Sorry Gray but here is an appointee who acknowleges that she was not truthful about her "past". Come correct, Mr. Mayor. This doesn't cut it.

Posted by: candycane1 | February 23, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Cronyism, nepotism and patronage are long part of the system. That someone who is your old fraternity brother, nephew-in-law, or the grandson of your largest campaign contributor gets a preference in hiring is something we all expect. Sad but true. Defend your controversial hirings and their likely puffed-up resumes or questionable experience. The electorate won't notice for long.

Posted by: mac4700 | February 23, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

This is what elected official do people, so what's the big fuss?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | February 23, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"I am so sick of white American media harassing, smearing and discrediting African American politicians"


Quit whining, quite a few black media outlets criticize white politicians...you people are not above reproach so quit acting like you are special...

Posted by: mark0004 | February 23, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"I am so sick of white American media harassing, smearing and discrediting African American politicians"


Quit whining, quite a few black media outlets criticize white politicians...you people are not above reproach so quit acting like you are special...

Posted by: mark0004 | February 23, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

When I arrive back in the States in a few days, I am bringing with me a tsunami of anger. Brown, Gray, Barry Same old sht.

Posted by: johng1 | February 23, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

And fix my gaddammmm sidewalk! We have been asking Thomas to fix it for years and we get no gadammmm service! Meanwhile, a woman in a wheelchair gets stuck in the "hole" and we have to rescue her! Pedestrians bycyclists and runners must navigate around it.

Can anyone say BANANA REPUBLIC?!?

Posted by: johng1 | February 23, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

umm, dont play the race card, i am a critic and wrote about meeting at the Mayors office and Council HQ, I am black, born in DC, raised in DC, you are a fool to think this is about race and race only, if you cant hold people of your own race to the highest standard you expect, then you cant hold anyone accountable. Get outta here with playin the race card....WE GOT A BLACK PREZ the race card crap is over. Kaput!

Posted by: Fred23 | February 23, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

For all of you folks who excuse what Mayor Gray has done based on it being "business as usual" for government, don't you think we deserve better?

When will we finally find candidates for elective office who have the integrity to stand up to the past, say "Enough!" and really give us GOOD GOVERNMENT for a change?

Posted by: Kathy8 | February 23, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Cronyism is back and that is sad! Mayor Gray is bringing back the bad old embarrassing days. Our city is a better place, we deserve better leadership than this!

Posted by: moralcompass1 | February 23, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

People, people, you all just don't get it. You're screwed shawties! Big V is running the city the old school way. You all voted out professional, hard charging, tireless leaders because they weren't "hood" enough. Now you're getting what you wanted, hood figgas running the city. The Kwamemoblies, 100k+ part-time jobs, homies kids gettin gigs etc. Believe me, Big V and Pimpin K will be kissing all your rings, hiring every crappy teacher, opening every run down barely attended school, hiring classes of police cadets without background checks and errthang. I'm dusting off my old RE PA tapes as we speak and just ordered some fresh 996s. I'm getting ready for the new old D.C. See ya down Haines Point. The party will be by the two fresh black on black SUVs.

Posted by: evolvedthinker | February 23, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I was no fan of Fenty's and supported Gray all the way. However, so far I'm not impressed and more than a little disappointed. Straighten up, Mr. Mayor!

Posted by: UrbanDweller | February 23, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Barry is BACCCCCCCCK! For the record I am so white that flour pales next to me. I am from the deepest part of the South, vote the NRA ticket and drive a pickup. I am qualified to have a job in the DC government. And if I do not get one I will file an EEO suit. Hey i can be the only minority making $125,000 a year and not have to show up. I CAN do this.

Posted by: KBlit | February 23, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with race, not sure why in the hell that came up AGAIN! I apoligize to my fellow African Americans, that someone tied race to this. These types of "political hirings" have been done going back to the John Adams administration and cross all racial lines. Nothing wrong with these hires at all. If they prove to be incompetent then we'll address the story at that time. Otherwise, no story here.

Posted by: madstamina | February 23, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

DC = 3rd world

Posted by: djrhood | February 23, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

So sad. Gray offered hope for an ethical and legally responsible administration. So sad that that hope never even got established. DC needs a Tea Party.

Posted by: jimb | February 23, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Where there's smoke, there's fire.

Posted by: jameskim99 | February 23, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

End the federal payment. Taxpayers in Iowa and Wyoming shouldn't subsidize Kwame's pimpmobiles and Gray's cronyism. Maybe DC taxpayers would rise up if they had to carry the complete cost for these people treating DC tax revenue like an ATM.

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 23, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Good Lord, it hasn't taken this Gray guy more than a couple months to turn into just the sort of guy we voted out when Fenty came in. Can we get a do over?

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | February 23, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

hotezzy and others playing the rcard: that's ridiculous, and you should be ashamed. Wake up. Take the heat; we surely hope the mayor can. The people of Washington overwhelmingly elected Vince Gray, and we all have a right to be disappointed with some of his appointments. The obvious cronyism has a really bad odor, though its largely in our mayoral tradition. It needs to end. We need austerity. We should save as much as possible via cuts--and pour it into DCPS and the charter schools. They are our future and our most important problem.

Posted by: axolotl | February 23, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with race. This has everything to do with cultural and societal pressure. Gray was hired to do excatly what he's doing. He's bending over and taking it stiff from those he relied on to cast Fenty as a sellout. Those same people disliked Fenty and Rhee because they didn't give a pluck about giving folks kids gigs or 25% raises for the same job. If you sucked, they fired you, period. No ring kissing BS. It was all about improving the city not being the cool figga with a driver in the black on black SUV. You get what you pay for and you damn sure get what you vote for.

Posted by: evolvedthinker | February 23, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Vincent Gray - Marion Barry redux

Posted by: fwillyhess | February 23, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Whatever! I'm just glad he's hiring DC residents. Maybe if Fenty had hired people who actually lived in DC or grew up in DC area, he would still be in office. But no, Fnety hired a bunch of arrogant know-it-alls who knew nothing about DC. That's why they thought building bike lanes and dog parks for young White people was more important than picking up the trash. And that's why they are GONE! LOL!

Posted by: PepperDr | February 23, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Gray and Council Chairman Brown - with them it's not about SERVICE - it's about the SPOILS OF OFFICE.

In the meantime, the DC Government prepares for a shutdown and faces hundreds of millions of dollars in the red ...

It's all just so WRONG and so CORRUPT

Posted by: tancred | February 23, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Re post by Hotezzy: The big difference between all the "privileged" hirings you mention and what is happening in DC is private funds vs public funds. Whatever corporations want to do to hire folks is their business. BUT, the people's money should not be used to provide special favors. I don't agree with the way Capitol Hill does things either. But, from a budget standpoint, that's a drop in the bucket (Capitol Hill) vs a cup in the bucket (DC budget). DC is not in the position to be overpaying personnel and leasing vehicles for exorbitant prices ($1900 for a 48-month lease on a $60K SUV???).

Posted by: ColorBlind1 | February 23, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Gee, how did George Bush get his first job?

Why was Bristol Palin on television?

Why do people print what Meghan McCain has to say?

How did Charlie Sheen get his first audition?

People's parents open doors.

Posted by: fmjk | February 23, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Any city government that has had longstanding problems with cronyism needs leaders that avoid even the appearance of cronyism. You don't build trust with voters by ignoring hot buttons like these.

And no, this is not about race. I'm from a Midwestern city that has had terrible problems with corruption for decades, and the key people are always white. Let's not lower the bar for DC just because the people in power are black. That's racist in and of itself.

Posted by: TracyDC | February 23, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Pepper: That's why they thought building bike lanes and dog parks for young White people was more important than picking up the trash. And that's why they are GONE! LOL!

----------

lol racist

Posted by: johng1 | February 24, 2011 1:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a big fan of Mayor Gray's, but c'mon folks.

This isn't anything new. Politicians do it all the time. JFK hired RFK as Atty General, you don't think every Pres before or after didn't hire people they knew?

A new CEO takes over a company, he usually brings in at least some people he knows.

Why don't we give these "kids" the benefit of the doubt and a fair shot. If 6 months from now there is some kind of proof that they aren't qualified or aren't doing their jobs, then we can have an uproar.

Posted by: BEEPEE | February 24, 2011 2:12 AM | Report abuse

I need a drink of liquor after reading this article. I am a black DC resident born and raised in the District. I voted for Vincent Gray and I want my vote back. I hated former King Fenty, but I think Gray will be a big disappointment. On the issue of Kwame Navigator Brown, the U.S. Attorney's office should be investigating him and the entire DC Council for corruption. Is Kwame Brown related to former PG County Executive Jack Johnson. I hope his wife doesn't hide money in her under garmets.

Posted by: DaddyGraceFishSandwich | February 24, 2011 2:13 AM | Report abuse

What I want to Know?

Poor Kuamae Brown.

How did he get to work today?

Posted by: bigmac1810 | February 24, 2011 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Look, this kind of stuff has been happening for years. Everything in DC is WHO YOU KNOW!!! I dont disagree with them getting the jobs, I'm against the pay increases. Now, with our taxes about to go up and the decrease in services getting ready to happen, this kind of stuff just doesnt look or feel good. And adding the Kwame Brown car fiasco, our city leaders are not starting the year off good.

Posted by: Papasp8@yahoo.com | February 24, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I have not seen where Mr. Gray now as Mayor nor Mr. Brown of the Council deserve any less scrutinizing of their behaviors based on their early days in office. Gray is of the Berry mindset; look at his initial work involving the rehiring of teachers dismissed rightfully so by Ms. Rhee under the Fenty adm. This act of his is nothing more than a payback (if it works or stands up to court challenges) for those teachers and families who voted for him with the promise by his team that they would be rehired. Gray appears to be in bed with the teachers union in this case but regardless the teachers and others were dismissed as they should have been - that being for not doing their jobs in teaching the youth of DC, of having valid licenses, of not being competent with their continuing ed., etc. So where will the Mayor come up with the money to repay and rehire them if he is legally allowed to do so in a city that is in dire financial straits? And then you have the ordering by Brown and he of the deluxe version of the Lincoln SUV - why not a SUV or car already on the lot or better yet buy his own car with the money that he is making as Mayor. And yes, the fed govt is full of political hires - most being of less experience and wisdom of their jobs than those already in place who should have been promoted. Gray, like Berry will hire Blacks esp who because they support him will get well paying jobs not because they are the best qualified but simply because they are yes people for him. Obama did the same with his initial team and they hurt him and for those political hires still in place are of lesser quality than those who have careers in the workplace. Political hires should go out the the window across the board. The problem is that Gray again like Berry will abuse this policy and hire people whose resumes are not accurate of their worth for a particular position. They will only abuse those already in positions with the city govt., disregard their knowledge and exp. and essentially take a higher salary that should have went to the dedicated worker already in place - regardless of gender or race and not a crony, bed partner, friend, etc. White politicians - esp of the South - have a hx of the same behavior and poor judgement. Gray was not the best candidate for the position of Mayor and the city will pay for their mistake in short time.

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | February 24, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"Meet the new boss,
Same as the old boss..."

Posted by: 10bestfan | February 24, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@johng1: Stop calling your councilmember, you'll get a better response by contacting DDOT directly.

(http://ddot.dc.gov/DC/DDOT/Services/Streets+and+Sidewalks/Sidewalk+Repair)

Sidewalk Repair

You can request sidewalk repair services by calling the Mayor's Citywide Call Center at 311 (202-727-1000) or completing a service request online using the District government's Service Request Center. Please identify the specific location of the problem on the sidewalk and describe the type of sidewalk (i.e. concrete, brick or other surface). Provide information as to the severity of the damage (i.e. cracked or broken, missing bricks, tree roots pushing up through the sidewalk). A service request will be put into the tracking system, and you should receive a service request number.

Scheduled Response Time

•Investigation: 1-10 business days
•Temporary (emergency) repairs: up to 15 business days
•Permanent resolution depends upon the findings of the investigation
•Permanent repairs require a longer timeframe and depend upon funding availability
NOTE: A "new" sidewalk request requires a petition from a majority of the residents on your block and a public hearing.

DDOT's standard is to resolve sidewalk repair requests within 25 business days of the time they are reported (up to 10 business days to investigate and an additional 15 business days to resolve). Call the Mayor's Hotline at 311 or (202) 727-1000 if the request hasn't been resolved by the specified time of completion. Please reference your service request number

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 24, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

This really all comes down to "it's not what you know, but who you know". EXPERIENCE is no longer a requirement when applying for a job. They say "go to college, get your degree and it's so easy to get in the door". Oh no no no no no, just have your mom, dad, sister, brother or whomever in a top position and you're in there! "Forget those who actually qualify for the job, I'll just hire my neighbors son who has no experience/no educational background whatsoever".

Posted by: bsu06 | February 24, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

This article in incomplete without stating the education and experience of the "children" who were hired. If they have the requisite education and experience then why shouldn't they get a job?

For two reasons:

1) The city is in a hiring freeze, and I would argue that the positions to which these family members have been appointed are far from essential.

2) These are low and mid-level positions. Even if there is an essential need, the right thing to do would be to allow the family members to apply for these jobs through a competitive process just like any other person.

That these family members were inserted into agency positions where they were not needed, in non-essential roles through a non-competitive process just doesn't smell right.

Posted by: pennquaker | February 24, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with connected hires - in the previous administration or now. What I had a problem with was people who got contracts, screwed up and then were impossible to remove/replace because of said connections. As for the increases, do we know the total cost of all of them? One article (which I can't find online) said a salary was bumped from $179,(something) to $180k. Is this typical of all of them?

Posted by: Pearlsb4Swine1 | February 24, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

What about Gray's hiring of Cherita Whiting an ex-felon in a $65,000. position?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/16/friend-of-gray-hired-for-dc-job/

Posted by: CaptainKangaroo | February 24, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sick of African Americans, rationalizing the poor decisions and bad behavior of African American elected officials by saying white elected officials do it to.

NEWS FLASH, This is African American History Month. And stories of how African Americans had to march, demonstrate, and die in order to have access to the electoral process are everywhere. So, is it too much to expect that African American politicians to dignify the offices they hold (largely because AA voted for them) by having a slightly higher level of scrupples and commitment to good government once they are elected. I don't believe the objective of the civil rights struggle was to create or enable a black aristocracy, where their children, wives, neices, nephews, cousins and concubines have rights and privileges to positions and resources by virtue of relationship. While yours and mine are confiend to the status of the unwashed masses. If is the case, then we marched and are exercising our hard won right to vote for the wrong reasons.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | February 24, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm not really sure why so many people are blaming race. I don't recall the same accusations against Williams or Fenty. This has absolutly nothing to do with race. It is simply fear of slipping back to the Berry times when the city was a horrible crime ridden mess.

Posted by: cashink2003 | February 24, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

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