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D.C. Council Report On Hiring: 'Clear Evidence' of Nepotism and Cronyism

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Former Mayor Vincent Gray chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall told the D.C. Council at a hearing earlier this year that she now regrets the decision to hire her son into the Gray administration.
Patrick Madden
Former Mayor Vincent Gray chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall told the D.C. Council at a hearing earlier this year that she now regrets the decision to hire her son into the Gray administration.

A D.C. Council report into the hiring scandals of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's administration finds clear evidence that top staffers engaged in cronyism and nepotism and likely broke the law.

But the report clears the mayor of any direct involvement or knowledge of the abuses.

Most of the blame falls squarely with a small group of top aides and close advisers to the mayor, the report finds: Judy Banks, Lorraine Green, and Gerri Mason Hall -- the three women in charge of many of the young administration's hiring decisions.

The report says it appears this trio acted with little supervision from Mayor Gray and abused their authority and the mayor's trust.

Ultimately, the report concludes, the mayor is responsible for his staffers' actions, an assessment Gray didn't disagree with Tuesday.

"The lesson is, I take full responsibility as the mayor," he says. "We play close attention to these things and we will pay close attention to things in these future.

"There are things that I wish hadn't happened," he adds

The report also looks at the claims of Sulaimon Brown, who alleges he was paid and promised a job by the Gray campaign. The report finds, "strong evidence backing the accusations."

But for the most part, the report focuses on the allegations of nepotism involving children of close aides and advisers, a story first reported by WAMU News.

The special council committee appointed to investigate the hiring practices is expected to hold a hearing on the findings of the report today.

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