IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Sulaimon Rashomon! Gray Tries to Allay Doubt, Murk Remains
Brown v. Gray, Who You Gonna Believe? In the Old Days, Councilmembers Helped You Buy a Car
Good morning sweet readers! Truth: Babies grow up too fast. LL’s bean is already asking for an iPad2. News time:
Just Another Manic Sunday: Buckle up, readers, this one’s gonna be a doozy. We begin with the above-the-fold, Sunday A1 Washington Post piece you’ve all read by now, which has failed mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown making some explosive allegations: Not only did Mayor Vince Gray promise him a job during last year’s election, but his aides gave him envelopes of cash to keep his floundering campaign afloat. Want hard proof? Well, that’s tricky. Brown has phone records that show a lot of contact between himself, Gray and his campaign, but not much else. The Gray camp denied any wrongdoing. (Still, LL thinks there’s a strong case to be made that Brown was promised a job, given that the Gray camp knew all about his shady past before hiring him for a $110,000-a-year job.) Yesterday afternoon, the mayor gave reporters about an hour’s notice for a Wilson Building news conference where he doubled down on his denials, but acknowledged “missteps” and said he’s asked Attorney General Irv Nathan and the D.C. Council to investigate Brown’s allegations. (Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown’s office announced in a statement late last night that he’s asking the inspector general to investigate the “Mayor Gary matter.”) Sulaimon Brown, meanwhile, is now freely admitting that he’s a crook. He told the Examiner‘s Freeman Klopott, “Gray broke the law. I broke the law, too,” and told ABC7 “It was definitely a bad idea … At the time I needed financial support. I had a pregnant wife and I needed financial support,” and told the Post: “I’m willing to take the heat for what I did wrong.”
AFTER THE JUMP: More Sulaimon Madness; Talib Karim is Out; Kaya Henderson is In…
The Post has some details to what Sulaimon did wrong: “A review of Brown’s campaign finance reports show four deposits after June 24, the date he said he got a first payment from Green, an envelope containing $750. At least of one of the donor names listed on Brown’s report after that date does not appear to be real. Three other names appeared to be misspelled when the names and addresses are matched with public records. According to Brown’s Aug. 10, 2010, report, ‘Aulias Naylor’ of Annapolis contributed $335 on July 2, 2010. It listed her as an accountant with Booz Allen Hamilton, but the consulting firm’s name is misspelled. Aundrea Naylor, who lives at the address listed on the report, said she didn’t know Brown or an Aulias Naylor. ‘This is bogus. I’m not an accountant, and I don’t work at Booz Allen Hamilton,’ she said. ‘I guess I’m curious about how my name got on here. It’s fraudulent.’ Brown would not disclose how he picked the names he submitted on his report. He said he does not believe he will get fair treatment with the Office of Campaign Finance if it launches an investigation.” (Perhaps because he’s already now on the record admitting he did something wrong?) Other fun facts: Sulaimon claims he was hired “be the administration’s eyes and ears in the Department of Health Care Finance because [Councilmember David] Catania, who chairs the council’s health committee, had excessive influence over the agency.” Catania, meanwhile, offered his opinion that the A.G.’s office isn’t independent enough to investigate: “We have an institutional crisis.” Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans feels the same, and wants the U.S. attorney’s office to investigate. The Post also reports that Howard Brooks, the campaign consultant Brown says gave him envelopes full of cash, has a son who just found his way onto the city payroll, making $110,000 a year. Yikes!
Talib Karim Resigns: The subject of LL’s column this week has resigned, Gray announced yesterday. Talib Karim tells WTOP he resigned Friday, and blames LL for “for the unwanted attention on his personal life” which he said had nothing to do with his job performance. Gray announced that all his appointees would undergo background checks hours after LL published his column on Karim, which details how two courts ruled that Karim had used physical force against his ex-wife, including pushing her while she was holding the couple’s baby.
New Subject, Please Pay Attention Over Here: Surprising no one, least of all NBC 4’s Tom Sherwood, Gray is expected to announce that interim Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson will be named is permanent chancellor, reports the Post‘s Bill Turque. “Gray (D) has, by most accounts, never seriously considered any other potential leader of D.C. Public Schools. He recently appointed a chancellor selection advisory panel, as required by D.C. law, to evaluate any candidates he might recommend. The panel has met once, on Feb. 24, and only one name was considered: Henderson.” This makes Washington Teachers Union boss Nathan Saunders unhappy; he says Henderson is as big a meanie as her predecessor Michelle Rhee.
Suzanne Peck’s Abrupt Departure: The Examiner‘s Kytja Weir follows up on a Times scoop that Gray supporter Suzanne Peck abruptly retired from her job at chief information officer for Metro. “‘Everyone was kind of surprised,’ said Metro board member Jeff McKay, who chairs the board’s technology review committee that oversaw her work on information technology. He learned of the departure on Feb. 24 and noted it was unusual for so little notice to be given.”
Gray sked: 2 p.m. appearance at “D.C. Vote Democracy and Empowerment in Our Nation’s Capital Briefing.”
Council sked: Roundtable on United Medical Center at 10 a.m.