Former Gray Chief of Staff Testifies At Hearing on Hiring Practices | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Former Gray Chief of Staff Testifies At Hearing on Hiring Practices

Play associated audio
Gerri Mason Hall told the D.C. Council she now regrets the decision to hire her son into the Gray Administration.
Patrick Madden
Gerri Mason Hall told the D.C. Council she now regrets the decision to hire her son into the Gray Administration.

The two big controversies -- questions of nepotism and the allegations from Sulaimon Brown that he was compensated for his support of Gray during his campaign -- took center stage at Thursday's hearing. The woman key to both scandals, former Gray chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall, spoke publicly for the first time since her firing.

"With the clarity of hindsight, I realize I made mistakes and exercised poor judgment and I greatly regret it," Hall says.

Hall testified that she didn't think the hiring of her son, which was first reported by WAMU, posed a problem at the time.

That didn't sit well with Council Member David Catania, who sharply questioned Hall.

"You had to have known what you were doing was wrong," Catania said during the hearing. "And to say you regret it...You regret being caught because you knew it was wrong when you did it, and you did it anyway. Isn't that correct?"

"That is not," Hall said.

Catania pressed on during the exchange. "You thought it was right?" he asked.

Hall insisted that she "did not think it was a violation."

Later, the hearing featured more conflicting testimony about how another official's child was hired.

During her testimony, Hall also shed some light on the issue of Sulaimon Brown, who has accused the Gray campaign of paying him and promising a job for help during the race. Hall testified that campaign chair Lorraine Green asked her in December to reach out to Mayor Gray about a position for Brown, but Hall says she never did. She claims that she alone made the decision to hire Brown into the city's Medicaid agency.

Brown showed up for the hearing but decided shortly after arriving that he wouldn't participate.

"That's illegal what they are doing and I am not going to participate in it and they can't force me to participate in it," he told reporters outside the hearing.

Another witness, the man who Brown claims paid him envelopes of cash, also failed to show.

Council staff members tried to deliver a subpoena to Brown to come back, but Brown was too quick and left before they could serve him.

Below, check out our video of Brown's statement outside the hearing.

NPR

WWI Diaries Of Poet Siegfried Sassoon Go Public For First Time

Nearly a dozen notebooks and journals by the author, who fought in the British Army during the war, are being released to coincide with the centenary of the start of the conflict.
NPR

Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget

A Canadian scholar was unimpressed with the cookbooks available for people on food stamps in the U.S. So she decided to come up with her own set of tips and recipes for eating well on $4 a day.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Defense Zeroes In On Star Witness' Credibility

Defense attorney William Burck is focusing on inconsistencies in what Jonnie Williams told investigators as well as his stock dealings.
NPR

Simmering Online Debate Shows Emoji Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

A report from a local Philadelphia TV station is re-igniting a debate and getting people all up in arms. (Or should we say, up in hands?)

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.