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It didn’t take long for former Mayor Anthony A. Williams to get a big check after leaving the public sector.
But the $4,000 payment he recently received wasn’t a signing bonus from his new employer. The check came from an outfit he’d rather forget—the 2002 Committee to Reelect Tony Williams.
The former mayor was apparently too busy with golf lessons at the FBR Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., to return calls from LL about the money. The disbursement is reported as a loan repayment in the committee’s Jan. 31 filing. In another section of the report, the nature of the debt is listed as “legal fees.”
The other outstanding red ink in the Williams political treasury is $5,950 owed to the law firm of Greenstein, Delorme & Luchs. Vincent Mark Policy of the firm defended Williams after political consultant Tom Lindenfeld sued the sitting mayor, alleging Williams stiffed him for services. The law firm also helped Williams out during the now-famous petition-signature scandal. Widespread forgeries and fraud in the signature collection process cost Williams a place on the 2002 democratic primary ballot. He won in a write-in campaign.
During one of these legal scuffles, Williams apparently found it necessary to personally cough up $4,000—presumably to pay Policy. In November 2003, good-government gadfly Dorothy Brizill filed a complaint with the Board of Elections and Ethics, claiming Policy’s decision to provide Williams with legal help on a pro bono basic violated city law. (Policy was also working as a lobbyist at the time.)
But who ponied up for Tony’s check? Two local unions—the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Washington Building & Construction Trade Council—kicked in $2,000 each this summer as Williams was becoming an afterthought to D.C. voters. Neither union could explain to LL how they became aware of the pressing need for funds at the committee.
Williams didn’t have to go far to get the check. His wife, Diane Simmons Williams, is treasurer of the committee, which might explain why when the union money came in, the law firm ended up second in line for the cash.