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Report: Barry "Misused Government Funds"

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The 107-page special report on the contracting scandal involving D.C. Council Member Marion Barry.
Patrick Madden
The 107-page special report on the contracting scandal involving D.C. Council Member Marion Barry.

By Patrick Madden

A D.C council report finds Council Member Marion Barry misused government funds, interfered with investigators, and recommends the U.S. Attorneys office take over the case.

The report by former prosecutor Robert Bennett says Barry steered non-competitive grants or earmarks to groups that were rife with abuse and fraud and provided substantial financial benefits to close friends and supporters. It also alleges Barry personally benefited from the earmarks awarded to his then girlfriend, Donna Watts-Brighthaup. She told investigators Barry would make her cash the paychecks and hand over some of the money to help repay several loans he had given her.

Barry denies any wrong doing. He says there were no written rules regarding who was eligible for earmarks. The report calls for the council to abolish all earmarks. Bennett calls them a narcotic for elected officials.

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