D.C. Legislators Express Dismay Over Most Recent Scandal | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

D.C. Legislators Express Dismay Over Most Recent Scandal

Brown, pictured here taking a bribe from undercover federal agents, will serve 37 months in prison.
Office of the U.S. Attorney for D.C.
Brown, pictured here taking a bribe from undercover federal agents, will serve 37 months in prison.

The latest corruption scandal at D.C. City Hall has council members again pledging to restore the public trust in local government. One day after former Council member Michael Brown pleaded guilty to accepting bribes, his old colleagues are speaking out.

Council Member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) says he understands why residents are, in his words, disappointed and disgusted.

"There is a perpetual dark cloud hanging over District politics. To deny that is to deny reality. I don't know what you do outside of what I try to do, which is to hold my self to the highest standards of personal integrity," he said.

McDuffie, elected in 2012 after former Council member Harry Thomas, Jr. pleaded guilty to stealing $350,000 in city funds and resigned his seat, said that individual legislators have to assure constituents that they are staying on the right side of the law.

"They most certainly should expect that a person elected to office conducts themselves in a manner that does not invite FBI investigations. That we hold positions of public trust and that that actually means something. It means that we are public servants, not self servants," he said.

McDuffie has been tasked with figuring out how to reform D.C.'s campaign finance laws—a troubled system that has been the source of several scandals.

Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6)—now running for mayor—says elected officials need to do a better job of holding their colleagues accountable.

"There is a culture of corruption in our elected government. And this is another example of that. I don't think the council has taken this crisis seriously. We passed a weak ethics bill and I think there are more shoes to drop," he said.

Mayor Vincent Gray so far has declined to comment on Brown's guilty plea.


What Kids' Drawings Say About Their Future Thinking Skills

There's a link between how children draw at age 4 and how well they perform on intelligence tests at age 14, researchers say.

Urban Farms Build Resilience Within Singapore's Fragile Food System

Tiny Singapore imports almost all of its food. From gardens on deserted car parks to vertical farms in the vanishing countryside, a movement is afoot to help boost its agricultural production.
WAMU 88.5

IRS Seizes Financial Records For Park Southern Apartment Buildings In D.C.

A troubled housing complex that is becoming an issue in D.C.'s upcoming mayoral election had its records seized by the IRS as part of an apparent federal investigation into its finances.


Ferguson Killing Inspires Young Black Activists

Activists around the country say Michael Brown's death and the police response has strengthened their resolve to fight injustice.

Leave a Comment

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