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The D.C. Council has delivered another slap at Hizzoner.
The government operations committee this afternoon voted unanimously to disapprove four mayoral nominees to the Public Employee Relations Board, tasked with resolving city labor disputes. In hearings, James Byles, Diaa Nour, Brenda Oliver, and Darryl Wiggins all faced pointed questions from committee chair Mary Cheh about their thin qualifications in the field of labor relations. All four have personal connections to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty—-Byles is a running partner, Nour is the brother of a running partner, Wiggins is a political confidante, and Oliver is wife of Fenty’s general counsel.
In today’s markup, fellow committee members Kwame Brown, David Catania, and Harry Thomas Jr. joined Cheh in voting to disapprove all four nominees. They could still be approved if seven members of the full council vote to change the panel’s recommendation.
PERB has been essentially unable to hear cases since last summer, when it last had a quorum, creating a massive backlog. Currently, the board has only one member.
To address the problem, Cheh says she’ll be introducing emergency legislation at Tuesday’s council meeting to allow a single-member quorum while the mayor comes up with new picks. “I’m hoping to work with him collaboratively on it,” she says.