Marion Barry back in trouble

Marion Barry

Crack smoking Marion Barry

Remember this guy? Yes that’s the crack smoking former mayor of DC, Marion Barry. Well it’s council member Barry now and he just couldn’t stay out of trouble. According to this from the Washington City Paper, ole Marion has some ‘splainin’ to do about fraud and kickbacks.

Well, it sure as hell wasn’t a whitewash.

Attorney Bob Bennett this morning presented the findings of a five- seven-month investigation into D.C. Council contracts and earmarks—a probe prompted by the shenanigans of Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry this summer.

The blockbuster finding is that Barry handed council checks to girlfriend Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, then ordered her to go to a bank, cash the checks, and give him part of the proceeds. Barry, in a deposition, protested that any money she handed over was to repay loans Barry had given.

But, Bennett noted today, the “evidence is overwhelming” that Barry illegally took city funds. He called for the council to refer the matter to the U.S. attorney and the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.

This kind of thing is nothing new for Barry and unbelievably, he’ll probably skate as he has so many times in the past. Here’s a brief list of his most recent criminal accomplishments (more here):

  • 1990 – Mayor Barry is busted in a hotel room while smoking crack with his girlfriend.

On January 18, 1990, Barry was arrested with a former girlfriend, Hazel “Rasheeda” Moore, in a sting operation at the Vista Hotel by the FBI and D.C. Police for crack cocaine use and possession. The incident was widely broadcast on television, showing an enraged Barry excoriating Moore, who had become an FBI informant. The outburst, in which Barry muttered, in part, “Bitch set me up,” became a popular quote associated with Barry.

He was sentenced to 6 months in federal prison in October 1991. During his stay he got into more trouble when he was caught getting a BJ from his girlfriend in a public visitor center.

  • Failures to file tax returns for 2005 and 2007.

On October 28, 2005, Barry pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges stemming from an IRS investigation. The mandatory drug testing for the hearing, showed Barry as being positive for cocaine and marijuana. On March 9, 2006, he was sentenced to three years probation for misdemeanor charges of failing to pay federal and local taxes, and underwent drug counseling.

In 2007, federal prosecutors sought to have his probation revoked for failure to file his 2005 tax return. U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson refused, saying that prosecutors had not proved that the failure was willful, even if Barry was aware he had missed the deadline. According to Judge Robinson, sentencing Barry to jail without proving that he willfully failed to file his taxes would contradict precedent set by the United States Supreme Court.

On February 9, 2009, prosecutors filed a motion in federal court to revoke Barry’s probation for not filing his 2007 tax return, which violated his probation. According to one prosecutor, Barry has not filed his taxes eight of the last nine years.

This goes on and on – multiple offenses for which he has skated virtually every time. And the ridiculously stupid people in Washington DC keep electing him. Well, I guess they deserve what they voted for…


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