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At a Marion Barry Commemorative Commission meeting this summer, Barry widow Cora Masters Barry saw Barry enthusiasts propose renaming everything from Ballou Senior High School to every single intersection in the District after her late husband.
Still, there’s one place Masters Barry doesn’t want to see the ex-mayor’s name: on the Barry Dickens Kidney Foundation. Since April, Masters Barry has been suing the group, founded by Barry kidney donor Kim Dickens to promote organ donation, over its use of Barry’s name and likeness.
Now, according to witness lists filed last month in Superior Court, the case could pull in more District government bigwigs, from Wilson Building lobbyists to current and former councilmembers, to testify at trial.
Masters Barry’s potential witness list is comparatively short, consisting mostly of herself, Dickens, and some expert witnesses. On the other hand, Dickens—-tasked with proving that Barry wanted to be associated with her association—-has created a witness roster that reads like a Who’s Who of east-of-the-river powerbrokers.
Among the heavies Dickens is considering calling at trial: ex-Mayor Vince Gray, former Ward 8 councilmembers Eydie Whittington and Sandy Allen, current Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May, and Muriel Bowser booster and frequent scandal figure Phinis Jones.
May foe and Barry protege Trayon White makes the list, as do former Barry staffers Bernadette Tolson, Charles Lindsay, and LaToya Foster, who’s now working as Bowser’s spokeswoman.
The witness list promises the potential for interesting testimony from Barry confidantes, including Wilson Building super-lawyers David Wilmot and Fred Cooke Jr., and Rev. Anthony Motley, who recently pled out on a fraud charge related to a Barry scheme.
The trial could even include testimony from those closest to the mayor-for-life. With Masters Barry separated from Barry for 12 years before his death, Dickens is considering calling longtime Barry girlfriend Sandy Bellamy. Also on the witness list: Barry son Marion C. Barry.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery