APRIL 16, 2010
A mayor already in trouble for taking controversial overseas trips financed by Arab and Communist governments and unscrupulously using tax dollars to promote a campaign donor’s business is in hot water for giving his fraternity brother a lucrative city contract.
It simply marks the latest of many scandals to rock the perpetually corrupt District of Columbia Council, which includes a convicted crack head (Mayor Marion Barry) who evades taxes and stalked a former girlfriend and a chairman (Vincent Gray) who illegally used official stationery to solicit donations for the Democratic Party and a politically-connected city contractor to renovate his house.
Leading the crooked pack is Mayor Adrian Fenty, who in recent years has starred in various scandals of his own. First he used taxpayer-funded advertisements to promote a family business that donated thousands of dollars to his political campaign. Then he took highly questionable jaunts to
This week the District’s largest newspaper reports that Fenty gave his fraternity brother (Omar Karim) a $4.2 million gig to oversee a separate $50 million city contract to renovate D.C. parks and recreation centers. Slipped into Karim’s sweet deal was an unusual second fee of more than $700,000 that’s considered “highly unorthodox” in a public project, according to procurement experts.
Disguised as a “consultant’s markup,” Fenty claims, through aides, that the arrangement is “standard,” though other high-ranking District officials immediately challenged it. Among them was the chairman of the D.C. Housing Authority, who got “removed” by Fenty when he tried to stop the shady project. Fenty cronies tried to convince the official to let the project proceed, but he refused and got canned.
The mayor is also under fire for giving other close pals major public contracts, though he vehemently denies taking part in the award process. Many of his closest friends have enriched themselves with taxpayer dollars and the issue may haunt Fenty as he seeks reelection this year. Then again, these sorts of things don’t seem to bother D.C. voters.
After all, they continue reelecting one of the nation’s most corrupt politicians (Marion Barry), even after a drug conviction, tax evasion, illegally giving a bogus $15,000 city contract to his girlfriend, steering millions of local dollars to his “nonprofits”….The list goes on yet Barry, D.C.’s one-time mayor, remains a fixture on the council.
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