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Natalie Williams, spokesperson for Marion Barry, called a late-night press conference in front of the Wilson Building in order to respond to a Washington Post story today saying that he had given a city contract to alleged stalkee Donna Watts-Brighthaupt. Before the nightly news reporters and a few print reporters, Williams said that due to “continued false allegations,” she would reveal the “truth surrounding Mr. Barry’s relationship” with Watts-Brighthaupt.
That relationship came into play on Saturday, after Barry was arrested on a misdemeanor stalking charge for allegedly following Watts-Brighthaupt in his car.
Williams started out with the allegation that Watts-Brighthaupt was under the care of a psychiatrist and that she’d been diagnosed with “compulsive behavior disorder and clinical depression.”
At that moment, Watts-Brighthaupt, who was standing unnoticed behind the cameras listening to the proceedings, blurted out, “That’s not true.”
Williams, a bit unsettled, continued with her statement, defending the awarding of a contract to Watts-Brighthaupt, explaining that the purpose was to create an “emerging leaders program.” The idea was to “identify, recruit, and develop” youth leaders in Ward 8; the funding was to be $60,000. Williams said the award was proper. Only $20,000 of the award was disbursed.
“For the record, it is not unusual, nor is it illegal, to award contracts to friends or family members who qualify and can provide the services required,” said Williams, who went on to say that a bidding process is not required. Williams finished by attacking Watts-Brighthaupt’s credibility, calling Saturday’s events and her “rambled statements to the media” proof of her instability.
As Watts-Brighthaupt was pulling away in her vehicle, she said this: “Looks like they’re scared of something. I must be bad.”
Additional reporting by Jason Cherkis
Video courtesy of WRC-TV