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Posted at 4:24 PM ET, 03/ 2/2010

Barry loses leadership position after censure

By Washington Post editors

UPDATE:

D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) told his fellow council members that the report by Washington attorney Robert S. Bennett, who concluded Barry personally benefited from a $15,000 personal-services contract he secured for his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, had reduced him, his "40 years of service, to a petty thief..... 40 years of service, to a Southeast hustler.”

The council censured Barry Tuesday, stripped him of his committee chairmanship and referred allegations of public corruption to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for possible criminal prosecution.

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The D.C. Council that censured Marion Barry also has stripped him of his role as chairman of the Committee on Housing and Workforce Development.

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The D.C. Council has censured Marion Barry and referred allegations that he misused taxpayer funds to the U.S. Attorney's Office for possible criminal investigation.

The move stems from a report by Washington attorney Robert S. Bennett that concluded that Barry personally benefited from a $15,000 personal service contract he secured for his on-again, off-again girlfriend Donna Watts-Brighthaupt.

Barry has apologized for poor judgment. However, he has maintained that he broke no laws.

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Twelve members of the D.C. council have voted to censure Marion Barry and refer public corruption allegations against him to the U.S. attorney's office -- actions that could severely reduce his authority and extend his legal troubles. Stay with the Post for more details.

By Washington Post editors  | March 2, 2010; 4:24 PM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Comments

As always, the bum will come out smelling like a rose. What a disgrace to DC.

Posted by: blackforestcherry | March 2, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry ain't dead so no riots,killngs, stealing, and robbing for 4 months please?

Posted by: foxxmacpryor | March 2, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Its a pretty sad day for DC when "Mayor for life" Marion Cocaine and Weed Barry is no longer able to steal from the Public. Who can he pass the batons of profligacy and defalcation to? No one! The other Council members are pretty respectable! Thank goodness.

Posted by: MoonDoggie | March 2, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

What did Barry do wrong? He did he same thing but on a much smaller scale from what Dick Cheney did...why are the rules different? Haliburton is still getting billions and Cheney is a free man? The law should be consistant across the board, it's clearly not in this case.

Posted by: Gooddad | March 2, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

This is a step in the right direction. Now they just need to remove one more temptation from themselves and that is to outright end the earmarks and "grants" to organizations who curry favor with the pols. If you want to improve the District and its economy, save the "grant" money and cut the regressive meals tax down to the range of that in the neighboring jurisdictions and you'll see more business and employment in the neighborhoods. With more small businesses, you'd see more people wanting to live in the city and a lot less poverty.

Posted by: blankspace | March 2, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

He should switch political parties -- declare himself a conservative Republican. He'd fit right in ... .

Posted by: hogsmile | March 2, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

it's about time - karma -

Posted by: herons-landing1 | March 2, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Very well deserved and long overdue but also hypocritical. Will all council members be censured for awarding contracts to friends and political supporters? If so there will be no council members left.

Posted by: rlj1 | March 2, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The sad part is that this jerk is still in elected office after all these years.

Posted by: ExPatYankee | March 2, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Many of us remember Marion Barry before he let crack cocaine destroy the good judgement part of his brain. We will always think of him as somebody who gave a damn about the poor and who tried to compensate for decades of racial prejudice by members of Congress by finding dignified employment for as many DC residents as possible.

Now he has become yet another example of how drug abuse can undermine a person's talents and good intentions. Young people take heed!

Posted by: loyalsyst | March 2, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry seems to believe what he did 40 years ago makes him untouchable now. Prosecutors have looked the other way for decades. The cocaine conviction, the civil judgments; all givens. Honestly, I doubt the U-S Attorney's office will find much in this case, since it's already being handled "administratively." But it's sad, nevertheless. It's not about Marion Barry. It's that SE DC hasn't had a competent representative in years. Ward 8 loves Marion Barry. Why? "I got them jobs." Why should Ward 8 hate Marion Barry? Those jobs are gone. Southeast is no better now than it was then. In fact, 1968 might have been its best year. Worried about Marion Barry? Worry about the inept DC City Council, instead. It took them this long to call Barry on the carpet? Guilty by association.

Posted by: shnewsman | March 2, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

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