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Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham announced today from the D.C. Council dais that his lawyers are headed shortly to the D.C. Court of Appeals to fight the recent scolding Graham received from the Board of Ethics and Accountability over his conduct on two expensive public contracts.
The announcement came as the Council was considering tweaks to the board’s powers, including giving it the ability to issue advisory opinions on its own initiative. Graham characterized the board as an unaccountable-due-process-denier that had singled him out but could be coming for any of his colleagues next.
Neither of Graham’s lawyers, William Taylor and Rachel Cotton, were immediately available to shed light on what this forthcoming appeal might look like, but in a letter to the Post today, they explain their beef with the board.
The ethics board acted lawlessly in this matter. It published what it called “findings” without any semblance of a fair process and in violation of its own rules. It found him guilty without a trial, indeed without giving him access to the evidence it was considering, and without telling him that it was considering finding him guilty of something. We had to beg even for an opportunity to address the board.
Taylor and Cotton also struck the same warning notes as Graham, saying that public officials clamoring to see Graham punished “will regret jumping on this bandwagon.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery