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Posted at 6:43 PM ET, 02/24/2011

Read Sulaimon Brown's resume -- is he qualified for $110K job?

By Mike DeBonis

If you haven't heard, the day's big news in D.C. politics has been the saga of Sulaimon Brown. A quick recap: Brown was a minor mayoral candidate who was a nonfactor in last September's Democratic primary, but he made some waves on the campaign trail by reliably bashing Adrian Fenty and lauding victor Vincent C. Gray. The Post's Nikita Stewart reported Sunday that Brown was given a $110,000 appointment in the Department of Health Care Finance. That led to puzzled outrage from political observers and reporters, who asked Gray Wednesday to defend the hire -- which he did -- even as Washington City Paper raised questions about Brown's background, which includes a misdemeanor arrest and the issuance of a protective order. This morning, Brown was fired by DHCF Director-Designate Wayne Turnage, as first reported by City Paper. Reporters, seeking answers on the firing, staked out Gray at the John A. Wilson Building. Gray gave an afternoon press briefing, which was crashed by a tearful Brown, who defended himself.

The big question: Was Brown qualified for the job Gray gave him? And was he qualified for the $110,000 salary he received? Read his resume and salary history and judge for yourself:


Here are further details from his employment application, provided by Gray's office:

Sulaimon Brown
Excepted Service Appointment
Special Assistant, DC Department of Health Care Finance
Salary - $110,000
Start Date - 1/31/11

Sulaimon Brown's Salary History (as per DC 2000 application)

Patrizio & Zhao - Parsippany, NJ - 7/2008 to 12/2008
Senior Auditor/Staff Accountant
Starting $80,000
Ending $80,000

Thompson & Company - Brooklyn, NY- 3/2007 to 10/2007
Senior Auditor/Staff Accountant
Starting $50,000

Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates PC - 2005 to 2007
Staff Accountant/Auditor
Starting & Ending Salary - $40,000

Education (as per DC 2000 application)
Bachelor of Business Administration - 2005
University of the District of Columbia
Washington, DC

By Mike DeBonis  | February 24, 2011; 6:43 PM ET
Categories:  Vincent Gray  
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Mike DeBonnis,

How much do you make and where is your resume'. That is the beauty of the 1st amendment isn't it?

I have been trying to figure the story here. Why was he fired? The salary is a non issue. The resume states that he worked at $80K in 2008. What do you think $110K will get you in DC? Again what is the point of this article. Why are "reporters" outraged? Perhaps because they are in the weeds at times creating stories and controversies. This is non-productive journalism! Reporters and political observers are they nameless and faceless?

I want to know why this guy was fired plain and simple. Further why in heavens name would a former mayoral candidate have to be escorted from his building by police. Answer that DeBonis and your story will be more credible.

Posted by: dcchamp1 | February 24, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Who prepares a resume without one date on it? Also, when I hear him speak, including today, I hear a lot of grammar mistakes.

These factors lead me to believe he is not $110 K material.

On the basis of the accounting jobs alone, yes, it is possible. But, I'd still ask, what can he do? What value does he bring?

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | February 24, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

This resume is not professional. Where are the dates of employment. Where has he been working since he has been in DC? He has only been an accountant for 5years and he was special assistant to the agency handling Medicaid. The agency that is bleeding millions of dollars a week b/c the agency in inept and cannot get the reimbursement from the feds. We need some real change...I'm saying he is not a good fit for the position.

Posted by: DCJUSTICE | February 24, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

@ dcchamp1.
you obviously either don't have a current job and/or have never worked in a professional environment.
This guy purportedly made a salary of 80K working as a "senior" staff accountant for what? 5 months?
hahahaha!!! he didn't even make half of 80,000...he was only there for twenty weeks!

your comment underscores just how stupid the Gray voters are. but God bless you... thanks for the laughs.

Posted by: caseythekid | February 25, 2011 12:31 AM | Report abuse

No one cares about Mike DeBonis's resume or salary. The story isn't about DeBonis. He's only reporting the crazy goings-on. He didn't fire anyone. He didn't escort the guy from the building. He didn't hire the guy for $110K. The great new mayor did. Meet the new boss...

Posted by: KidTJ | February 25, 2011 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to the 2nd coming of the Marion Barry Administration.

Posted by: johnfchick1 | February 25, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

dcchamp1: amen! this is a WTF story! $110k is nothing!

Posted by: sshill411 | February 25, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I talked to Mr. Brown for about 10 minutes outside Safeway when he was running for Mayor. I left that conversation convinced that he was a complete moron. He tried to convince me that D.C. has the highest AIDS rate in the world. When I informed him that some nations in sub-Saharan Africa have AIDS rates as high as 25% he responded with a blank stare.

Posted by: Aaron20011 | February 25, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

sshill411 "$110k is nothing!"

really? Ask the residents of Wards 5, 7 or 8 if $110 is nothing to them. Or even people with graduate degrees and earning far less.

His $30K pay hike from a job he held three years ago for 5 months is highly suspect.

For Gray who ran solely on a platform against cronyism, this week is a clear indication that it was all a farce and that the man would say anything for a vote.

Posted by: disenchanted1 | February 25, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I imagine this is how most resumes for DC officials are. His work history is strictly relegated to menial accounting work at small to mid size finance operations, and in no way merits $110,000 for the positions he had. Also, his education experience is laughable.

I've heard this imbecile talk befor, and he's strictly a yes man for a political hack - SOP in DC and in Congress (where internships and connections outweigh talent). I imagine he couldn't carry a meaningful conversation on the fiscal solvency and efficacy of health care in general, and DC in particular, let alone dictate policy.

This city removed progressives in Fenty and Rhee because of race issues and the fear of change and gentrification, and better schools with efficient teachers (watch the movie, 'Waiting for Superman")..

Now it's back to the days of Barry.. and the continuation of systemic poverty and violence in 70% of the city... But this city loves clown politicians, drama, and living on credit and handouts.

DC, where inflated salaries, ticket controversies, and "Tricked out" navigators are completely acceptable..

DC will always be a leper colony.

Posted by: taburd02 | February 25, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Why was Brown fired?????

Posted by: rpcv84 | February 25, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

rpcv84 - Because he has a criminal record and is clearly unqualified for the position. And that criminal record included a protective order about stalking a minor.

Posted by: Aaron20011 | February 25, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

That is a quite populated 2 page resume.

Maybe some dates would be nice.

Judging by the fact that "Meet with clients" is on there by itself, I'm tempted to think that most of the crap on there are very trivial tasks.

Why not put "Drank water" and "Ate lunch" while you are at it?

Can we please fire more people now?

Posted by: makplan20002 | February 25, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

The fact that this guy is crying like a baby at press conferences and worried about supporting his 4 year old son is proof that he is unemployable.

If he is so qualified and made this much monet at previous jobs, just go get one of those or one that pays slightly less

Posted by: makplan20002 | February 25, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Those appointed to Excepted Service positions, as Brown was, are "At Will". This means the agency does not need to provide an explanation as to why he was let go - they can revoke employment at any time, for any reason.

Posted by: Bipartisanvoter | February 25, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

This guy has a criminal background which should disqualify definitely. More than likely the resume is souped up to make one think he has all those qualification for which he probably doesn't and after seeing this guy cry like a baby I definitely question his qualifications.

When will these politicians learn when doing the friends and family network please ensure that those you put in positions are qualified or whom can at least play the part well. JMO

Posted by: msruby36 | February 25, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Resumes don't mean much until they are vetted. Verifying employment/salary history, education and reasons for periods of unemployment is a first step. Anyone to be entrusted with funds or sensitive information should also have undergone a background check to include criminal or credit issues. As published here, Mr. Brown's resume raises a few red flags. Given what I've heard of his public speaking, I wonder how he stumbled through an interview. I suggest DC's hiring process, along with its entrenched practices of cronyism and nepotism and an office-by-office lack of accountability, ensure us many years of ineptitude and lawbreaking.

Posted by: mac4700 | February 25, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't the post run an article like this on Michelle Rhee's resume? Maybe we would have discovered her ineptitude earlier.

Posted by: ChairmanX | February 25, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't the post run an article like this on Michelle Rhee's resume? Maybe we would have discovered her ineptitude earlier.

Posted by: ChairmanX | February 25, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing new about government officals hiring family and friends. Maybe Gray was trying to give this man an opportunity to prove himself but his past caught up to him. Gray probably had to fire him after his shady past became public. Posting Brown's resume is irrelevant to me. Try talking about providing opportunities to people who go to school, work hard and can't find a job.

Posted by: pieface | February 25, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

These responses are hilarious (and so true). However, i'm sure if we took a look at the resumes of every official in DC, there would undoubtedly be questions concerning how certain individuals obtain their positions. Notwithstanding, what is sad about this issue is that Gray (and Brown) have revealed their true stripes - - stripes similar in nature to Fenty w/r/t croyinsm and opportunistic actions at the price of DC residents. But hey isn't that politics!? It is really unfortunate that those who really need good government, continuously get nothing more than broken promises and unfulfilled rhetoric! This is why there is a need for term limits!

Posted by: sosaddc | February 25, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe all the people trashing Sulaimon's resume on your post yesterday. Have they ever actually tried to hire someone? That's probably in the top 10% of what comes across my desk, even having basic formatting is a rare gift.

That said, whoever hired him must have been living under a rock, because he's clearly got more issues than National Geographic. But his resume is hardly the problem.

Posted by: jamietre | February 25, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

A UDC graduate? That's like saying you graduated from Kindergarten..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 25, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

His terrible syntax when he speaks is enough reason for me for him to be fired from a mid-level government job. This is the primary reason why there is such a huge deficit in DC. There are many equally unqualified and incompetent people in DC who run many important agencies.

Posted by: jab00 | February 25, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

At that salary, was he at least a CPA?

Posted by: bugrad | February 25, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The bigger question that begs to be asked, "is", how many more in this administration fall into this category of are you qualified and is your salary commensurate with your skill set and salary history??? Mr Gray's had his cronies responding to every critisim during the campaign, why the sudden silence???

Posted by: WhitneyDavid | February 25, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

As someone who works in finance (budgeting/financial analysis); I can tell you that 5 years as an accountant/auditor without a CPA or graduate degree does not equal 110k. He wasn't qualified, shouldn't have been hired, and Grey fired him. The UDC comments are irrelevant. I know people who graduated from Strayer, not me, and are make six figures in mid level corporate consulting positions. Experience and drive trumps name of your school.

Posted by: VoiceofReason77 | February 25, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

What college/university you went to does not matter. Your work experience should show if your qualified or not. And 110k is not too bad to live in this area. Politics will be Politricks.

Posted by: mikiacurrie | February 25, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Debonis - I get why you blacked out his address...but just tell us if it was actually a DC address or Maryland like his drivers license?

Posted by: dude7 | February 25, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

What happened to DC HR employment rules? The rule is a 10% increase above your current salary or the agency hiring you has to provide a justification with documentation as to why the prospective employee deserves more. I say FIOA the justification! I agree with most his resume does not equal 110K

Posted by: tickedoff1 | February 25, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

"Character, Integrity, Leadership"...


Posted by: Spyboy | February 26, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse


Look at Obama's resume. It doesn't qualify him to make $400k a year.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 28, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

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