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Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has finally handed over the Nationals tickets demanded by D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and colleagues.
Gray informed fellow councilmembers in an e-mail late yesterday that the tickets had been delivered earlier that day by a Fenty staffer.
The handover comes one day after Neil O. Albert was named city administrator. A source says Albert moved to solve the ticket problem as one of his first official acts—-perhaps as a gesture of goodwill, perhaps in recognition that mayoral requests for changes to budget legislation wouldn’t have a chance otherwise.
More to come Monday.
UPDATE, 1:50 P.M.: Gray tells LL he did indeed speak to Albert yesterday afternoon, and that Albert explained to him that he wanted to make settling the ticket feud his first official act as city administrator. The tickets were delivered within hours. Gray, speaking en route to catching a flight to Las Vegas for the yearly shopping centers convention, says there was no deal discussed, nothing mentioned by Albert that the mayor would be expecting in return. Not that Gray would be willing to entertain such a deal with regard to the tickets: “They’re our property,” he says.
Sussing out the backstory here is a tough. Why would Albert be the peacemaker here? Looks to LL like Fenty’s using the fortuitous timing of Dan Tangherlini‘s exit to put an end to a conflict Hizzoner clearly didn’t think would persist as long as it has. By having Albert serve as the peacemaker here, it gives Fenty a somewhat face-saving exit (somewhat!) by giving his old CA a bit of a kick as he goes out the door—-making it seem as though he were the source of the pettiness all along. Could that be? Well, Tangherlini’s played hardball with the council before, particularly on the issue of withholding executive witnesses from council hearings, but the ticket tussle has smelled like a Fenty production from the beginning.