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LL has heard from city officials that Sulaimon Brown, a failed mayoral candidate whose hiring Mayor Vince Gray defended yesterday, was escorted out of the Department of Health Care Finance this morning by police. Updates to follow.
UPDATE: The Gray administration confirms that Brown was escorted out by police. Sources tell LL the decision to “begin proceedings” to separate Brown from his $110,000-a-year District government job came from the administrative offices of the Health Care Finance Department. The department’s director, Wayne Turnage, is at the Wilson Building huddling with city officials. LL just saw him and his chief of staff, Talib Karim, heading into Councilmember David Catania‘s office. Catania chairs the D.C. Council’s health committee, which oversees the department.
ANOTHER UPDATE! LL spoke with Turnage, who could not provide many details, citing personnel laws. “I met with Sulaimon Brown this morning to discuss his future at DHCF,” Turnage says. He adds that Brown is on “administrative leave,” but will not comment beyond that.
When asked about who made the decision to put him on leave—and who made the decision to hire the obscure former candidate in the first place—Turnage’s answer was the same: “As director of DHCF, all decisions about personnel begin and end with me.”
At this point, LL raised a skeptical eyebrow, since at a news conference yesterday, Gray said that Brown had sought out a job with the new administration and “we actually connected him with the Department of Health Care Finance.”