Marion Barry Broke Laws According To Special Counsel

6:37 PM, Feb 16, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC  (WUSA) -- An attorney investigating a contract that DC Councilman Marion Barry gave his girlfriend says the city's former mayor broke conflict-of-interest laws.

The DC Council asked attorney Robert S. Bennett to investigate Barry after details of the contract emerged last summer. Bennett's report was released Tuesday.

Related Story: Barry Case Raises Issue of Earmarks

The report says Barry failed to disclose his financial and personal relationships with Donna Watts-Brighthaupt when he submitted a contract for her work.

"The evidence is overwhelming," Bennett said.

Barry says the council lacks written rules and procedures for personal service contracts. He says no one can be accused of violating something that didn't exist.

Barry complained that Bennett's investigation was heavy handed and "completely out of order."

Bennett also said Barry refused to answer questions during his probe and told a witness to withhold documents.

Bennett recommended that DC city council members' power to "earmark" special budget items in their wards be eliminated.

He also recommended that his investigation be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney for possible criminal prosecution.

Council member Mary Cheh called on fellow council members to formally condemn Barry and act on Bennett's recommendations.

Written by Scott Broom

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