City Paper is not for tourists
Yesterday LL noted that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report on l’affaire Sulaimon had a juicy tidbit where two officials in the Gray administration gave diverging accounts of when Mayor Vince Gray said he first learned that Sulaimon Brown was working for the city. Turns out the House investigators screwed up and both aides were on the same page.
The report paraphrases Wayne Turnage, the director the Department of Health Care Finance and Sulaimon Brown’s old boss, saying that on the day Brown was fired, “the mayor claimed not to have known Brown was employed at HCF until that day.”
This account varied from Gray’s former chief of staff, Gerri Mason Hall, said to investigators and the D.C. Council, which was that Gray first learned that Brown was working for HCF a month before, when the mayor visited the agency and met with staff.
Turns out, the House investigators misunderstood what Turnage meant when he said “that day.” Turnage was trying to tell investigators that the mayor said he didn’t know Brown was working for the city until that day he visited HCF. Got it? Good.
Before you put on a tin foil hat and accuse Turnage of trying to take one for the team, consider what LL failed to remember yesterday. Gray knew Brown was working for the city well before he fired because 1) the Post had reported it a week or so before Brown was dismissed and 2) reporters, including LL, grilled Gray on the hire at a news conference the day before Brown was fired. (Hilarious quote: “He’s qualified to do that work,” Gray said at the presser.)
Turnage says he’s already spoken to House investigators who say they agree with Turnage’s clarification and will update the report—in two weeks.
“I don’t know why it takes two weeks, but that’s what they said,” says Turnage.