Evans calls for U.S. Attorney to investigate mayoral controversies

Photo by The Georgetown Dish
Inspector General Charles Willoughby with Current Newspapers publisher Davis Kennedy at Georgetown Univ.'s holiday open house
Inspector General Charles Willoughby with Current Newspapers publisher Davis Kennedy at Georgetown Univ.'s holiday open house

Councilmember Jack Evans is calling for the U.S. Attorney's office to investigate recent controversies involving Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and appointee Sulaimon Brown, who was recently dismissed from his $110,000-a-year position with the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance before alleging that Gray campaign aides gave him cash payments in exchange for his support during the mayoral campaign.

While Gray in a Sunday press conference asked for an investigation by the city's Inspector General Charles Willoughby, Evans says the IG

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans (Photo by: D.C. Council) D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans
does not have the requisite independence to handle the matter. "The Attorney General and the IG are functions of the D.C. government," Evans told The Georgetown Dish.  "I think we need an independent investigation to get to the bottom of this. And do it quick," he said.

Councilmember Mary Cheh said recent controversies involving Gray and Chairman Kwame Brown's leasing on the city's tab of "fully-loaded" Lincoln Navigators could harm critical budget talks which start in three weeks. "I personally am demoralized by all these mini-scandals," she said. "We have all these things to work on, and people might lose confidence in us. This is the worst time, when we're going to have to make some hard choices."  

But Cheh said the Sulaimon Brown scandal is not life-threatenting to the Gray administration. "It may be tawdry," she said. "But it's not going to bring down a government."

Cheh said she hopes IG's office can move quickly enough. "The only thing I don't like about the IG's office -- they take too darn long." In 2009 Cheh asked for an IG investigation of a controversial Fenty administration donation to the Dominican Republic of a District fire truck. The status of the investigation -- two years later, Cheh said -- is a report "to be forthcoming."

Former Gray campaign chairman Lorraine Green, who has denied any wrongdoing in the Sulaimon Brown affair, abruptly resigned from her role as a senior human resources executive at Amtrak Friday. Evans will chair a hearing March 16 to consider Green's appointment by Gray to be Chairperson of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority Board of Directors, the entity that controls the Convention Center, National's Park and RFK Stadium.

"At a time when the city is struggling to balance its budget and show Wall Street and the new Republican Congress that we are acting responsibly, these revelations have done nothing to bolster the District's image," Evans said in a recent newsletter to consituents. "Let's hope that the events are one time lapses in judgment and are not repeated."

"The District cannot afford to once again become the butt of late night television jokes," he said.

 

0 Comments For This Article

The Tatler

LG should not be appointed to anything until this matter is resolved.

Peter Rosenstein

I agree with Mary Cheh, the various issues with hiring in the Gray administration may be tawdry but they don't rise to the level of crisis for the government. I think that Jack Evans is right that the Council shouldn't be investigating this but rather the US Attorney and that it should not stop the Council and the Mayor from doing their important work on the budget.

While the Washington Post may think this belongs with huge oversize letter headlines on page one and the independent report on the Mayoral takeover of the schools belongs in the Metro section below the fold I think they have it wrong. Both belong on page one in regular column size headlines but in the long run the School report will be much more important to the people of DC.

If there was wrong doing in the Gray Campaign let's find out and let's punish the people who did wrong. But let's not let this overshadow what is crucial to all the people of the District and our future and that is rightsizing the budget and making sure that we live within our means while taking care of those who need government the most.

Anonymous

Could Evans be the pot calling the kettle black? What about his conflicts-of-interest between his council post and law firm association? And his giveaways to developers? Could you report on that? Or, is it too politically sensitive for the Dish?

DoubleSpeak

How Ironic that Jack Evans, who has plenty of his own ethical problems would make a statement that DC authorities can't be trusted to investigate local elected officials. Does that mean that the investigations clearing him over the years can't be trusted? Do we need the US Attorney to go back and look into Jack's tax-payer, double dipping trip to China? "The Attorney General and the IG are functions of the D.C. government," Jack says. I'll keep that in mind next time a vote comes up for Patton Boggs.

Anonymous is watching you Jack Evans!

coughchoke

Vince Gray & Sulaimon Brown
Jack Evans & Leroy Thorpe
The pot jokering about the kettle

Don't Go There

Ms Green should not be appointed until this investigation is complete. Her abrupt retireing, appointment, and these accusations heve too many paths crossing the same point at the same time. Duh???

Kahlill P.

Lorraine Green's appearing before the Jack Evans committee should be suspeneded indefinitly.At least until the investigation into her and Mr Howard Brooks alleged cash payouts and manipulating the results of Mayor Grays election outcome is complete and if they are found to have taken part of this outrageous scam then let the legal procedure begin.

Anonymous

How true to the old DC…..Barry-ism all over again and nothing gets done. The level of accountability is weak in the district and with these types of true and unbelievable events only shows every congressman why the district will always remain 'taxed without representation". When will the district's citizens wake up and realize that you cannot vote for someone that has any connection to the "old lazy, what do I get for my vote" idea. This city will not progress until real change. Barry should have been let go a long time ago and the fact that he is still in ward 8 shows you that this city deserves everything it get....a total embarrassment.

Anonymous

Can the Dish report on the other alleged conflicts of interest that exist within the DC Council? Including those of Jack Evans?