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On June 5, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C voted voted to censure fellow Commissioner Gigi Ransom over a laundry list of alleged no-nos [PDF]. The allegations against Ransom included:
* sending a racially charged e-mail to Commissioner Barrie Daneker, which the ANC termed a “potential hate crime”;
* attempting to order surplus government furniture for her home office; and
* interfering with ANC business with her “erratic outbursts and outlandish behavior.”
Now, the ANC 5C’s official disapproval of Ransom’s behavior is causing some ANC interference of its own.
Ransom has publicly contested her censure since the motion was first introduced in a May ANC 5C meeting. Two months later, Ransom has received a bit of legal backing to help her contest the censure, and the charges therein.
On July 20, Ransom received a letter from the Attorney General’s Office, which identified the motion to censure as “legally improper.” Senior Assistant Attorney General Sheila Kaplan did not address the “merits or factual basis” of the censure’s charges against Ransom, but did find that “proper procedure” was not followed in censuring her.
The ANC, Kaplan found, is required to provide a trial—-or at the very least, a “fact-finding by the whole assembly or committee”—-before censuring a commissioner. The fact-finding, furthermore, must be held in a “confidential setting” in order to protect the “reputation of the accused”—-requirements Ransom says were never met before the issue was called for a vote.
Feel like watching the procedural can of worms unfold? The issue is slated for discussion at tonight’s ANC 5c meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. at St. George’s Church, 160 U Street NW.