If you’re a reader with a lax boss, you might tune in to the entertaining (but very, very long) D.C. Council hearing on the Gray administration’s hiring practices.
There’s been plenty of grandstanding by councilmembers Mary Cheh, David Catania and Marion Barry. Cheh’s trying to show she’s serious about investigating her close ally’s administration; Catania’s trying to show that Cheh is doing nothing of the sort; and Barry’s trying to defend Mayor Vince Gray and attack Catania and the media at the same time.
While council squabbles can be fun to watch, here’s something more substantive to chew on: Gray’s former chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall was apparently very invested in getting Sulaimon Brown a job.
Inspector General Charles Willoughby testified that Hall called him on Jan. 14 and asked him to meet Brown, the failed mayoral candidate who has accused Gray’s aides of promising him a job and paying him cash for bashing former Mayor Adrian Fenty on the campaign trail.
Willoughby said Hall called and said that Brown was interested in a job opening as an auditor at the I.G.’s office. Willoughby said he told Hall that the auditor’s job was filled. Hall then asked Willoughby to have a meeting with Brown as a courtesy to her.
Willoughby emphasized repeatedly that his 15-minute meeting with Brown was not a job interview, but just a chat to clear up for Brown that there was no job opening.
Under questioning from Catania, Willoughby said that he’d never received a request similar to Hall’s during the administrations of Fenty and former Mayor Anthony Williams.
Catania also noted that shortly after Brown’s meeting with Willoughby, he was on the city payroll with the Department of Health Care Finance.
That agency’s former chief of staff, Talib Karim, told councilmembers that Hall appointed Brown to DHCF.
Hall isn’t at today’s hearing, but is supposed to testify at a future hearing sometime soon.
Gray has always denied the allegations that he promised Brown a job, saying he only promised a job interview. Hall seems to have fulfilled that promise by setting Brown up with Willoughby. So the question is, why’d she go beyond that?