The District’s Board of Ethics and Government Accountability fined Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry $13,600 earlier this month for accepting two gifts from city contractors worth $6,800. They’ll have to get in line.

That’s because Barry’s finances, after years of missed tax filings and garnishments, aren’t exactly booming—-he reportedly accepted one contractor’s gifts to cover hill bills. The board even had to tell Barry he couldn’t pay off his fine with more prohibited gifts. (City records show Barry has $2,348.04 in his campaign account and $131 in his constituent service fund, but he can’t use that money to pay the tab, either.)

How could someone making nearly $130,000 each year find himself in such straits? The mayor-for-life isn’t saying. Through an aide, he sent over this statement: “My personal finances with the IRS, like other Americans, is personal. Judgements appear on my credit report. Most Black politicians don’t start with any assets, and I’m one of them.” Above, a look at what we know about Barry’s finances.
Graphic by Carey Jordan