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David Garber and Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander are running for D.C. Council seats in June’s Democratic primary—but first, they’ll have to pay up. Both Garber and Alexander (through her associated committees) recently landed fines from city watchdog agencies.
At-large hopeful Garber was fined $1,000 last month by the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability. In his attempt to educate the District’s children as a part-time substitute teacher, Garber ran afoul of Hatch Act restrictions on city employees running for office by keeping his city job after he declared his candidacy last August.
Garber tells LL he first heard about the conflict in February.
“I made the decision to avoid any potential conflict and resign as a substitute teacher,” Garber says in a statement.
Garber isn’t even the only candidate in the at-large race with a BEGA blemish on his record. Incumbent Vincent Orange earned an ethics board admonishment in 2013 for his role trying to keep open a rat-infested store that was owned by one of his campaign donors.
Alexander’s fines come from the Office of Campaign Finance, which rapped both her constituent service fund and campaign committee in recent weeks for giving late finance information to the agency. While Alexander’s treasurer Derek Ford will personally pay the $300 fine for the campaign, the constituent fund will pay its own $1,450 fine.
That means Alexander’s tardiness will mean fewer service for her own Ward 7 constituents. Or it would, if constituent service funds were reliably used to benefit constituents.
Alexander, who’s facing a tough election campaign against former mentor Vince Gray, blames Ford—and herself.
“I take the responsibility for not cracking the whip on him,” Alexander says.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery