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”I was just distracted, frankly.”
—Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, Feb. 10
When it came out in January that Barry had failed to file tax returns for the eighth time in nine years, it was a classic shock-but-no-surprise. After all, the guy’s been the Teflon Taxpayer, repeatedly avoiding jail time for his lax attitude toward his 1040. But this time, the flouting was so blatant that everyone expected U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson to finally sink her teeth into the mayor-for-life. But then Barry produced the deus ex machina, revealing that he was ailing from a failed kidney—hence the “distraction.” After transplant surgery, Barry was hauled before Robinson, who took a more skeptical view toward prosecutors than the guy who’d failed to pay his taxes. Barry got off with an extension of his probation, but no jail time.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery