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Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham issued a statement this afternoon saying he’s not going to leave office just because the Washington Post editorial board asked him to.
“I am not resigning,” said Graham.
The statement comes a day after the newly formed Board of Ethics and Government Accountability found that Graham had “abandoned his impartiality and demonstrated inappropriate preferential treatment in his dealings” with a LaKritz Adler, a developer that had donated to one of Graham’s campaigns. Based on evidence produced by an investigation commissioned by Metro’s board, the District’s ethics board found there was “substantial” evidence that Graham had violated at least three provisions of the District’s code of conduct by trying to leverage his vote on the city’s lucrative lottery contract to help LaKritz Adler get a piece of a Metro development deal. But the board said it lacked the legal ability to punish Graham for his actions in 2008 and is dropping the matter.
The Washington Post editorial board opined today that Graham ought not to let legal technicalities get in the way of restoring the public’s trust in government and resign.
No way, says Graham, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. “I categorically deny any connection between any campaign donation and my actions on these matters” he said, adding that he’s in discussions with his lawyers to see what his next “legal steps” might be.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery