For the last few weeks, we’ve published stories on Councilmember Marion Barry‘s zany relationship with ex-girlfriend Donna Watts-Brighthaupt and his pressuring her to sign another problematic contract. We’ve also written two stories on the issues surrounding the nonprofits run out of his offices and staffed with ex-campaign workers. These stories did not seem to impact one Barry worker—-Jackie Ward.
Ward stuck to a simple script: standing by her work and refusing to comment any further.
Ward is one of the lucky ones. She’s pulling in $40,000 to head up an entity called Clean and Green Inc. She is also listed as an incorporator for the Ward 8 Education Council, and as a board member and incorporator for the Ward 8 Health Council. Ward’s previously known experience: working on Barry’s 2008 campaign.
This is what Ward said to us last week when we called seeking answers about her work. “I have no comment,” she said. “My work is there. Everything I do is a matter of public record.” She added that she stands by the work she refuses to comment on.
Ward did say that she had worked as a volunteer for the all-volunteer Environmental Council. She only got paid after it became Clean and Green Inc., and got public funding.
When asked how her work changed from volunteer to paid employee, Ward declined to comment. “I’ll have someone call you back,” she said. Of the workload change, she’d only say: “It’s more detailed.”
Ward did say that she “kinda” uses an office in Barry’s constituent services offices on MLK Avenue SE.
As for her work on the Ward 8 Health Council, Ward said: “I am saying no comment. Thank you.”
Ward had previously told Washington City Paper about her work: “I have no comment. You can print whatever you like. You are free to. It’s a free country. Whatever I’ve done is a matter of public record. I know everything I’ve done has been above board.”
On Friday, Ward actually called us to say that we had printed errors and that she had contacted an attorney to look into the matter. When asked what those errors were, she refused to comment.
After the news broke today that a federal probe had been launched to investigate Barry’s contracts with Brighthaupt and his funneling money to the fishy nonprofits, Ward slightly altered her no comment message to reflect law enforcement’s interest in the work of the nonprofits under her guidance.
Ward told City Paper: “I suggest that you contact Marion Barry’s people. I have been instructed by my attorney to not comment.”
Ward refused to reveal the identity of her attorney. But she added that it was not A. Scott Bolden, the lawyer recently hired by Barry staffer Brenda Richardson.
*photo by Darrow Montgomery.