Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, the woman at the center of the ethical questions swirling around Marion Barry, said today that federal investigators have not yet approached her as part of their preliminary investigation into the council member.
Watts-Brighthaupt, Barry's ex-girlfriend who was awarded a city contract last year, pledged she would cooperate with authorities if they contacted her, but first, Watts-Brighthaupt said, she needs a lawyer who can represent her for free.
"I don't have a lawyer and I can't afford one," Watts-Brighthaupt. "I heard other people are being represented pro bono. I need a lawyer pro bono."
Watts-Brighthaupt said she spoke with Barry two weeks ago and hopes one day to work alongside him again to promote Ward 8. She said attorneys who have a "vendetta" against the council member need not apply.
"I would like the (investigation) to be ethical and fair," Watts-Brighthaupt said.
Update 4:21 p.m.: Watts-Brighthaupt has emailed wanting to clarify what she meant by saying she still hopes to work alongside Barry. She said she wants to head up the Emerging Leaders of Ward 8 program, the project that Barry hired her last year to implement.
"I wouldn't get much done in Ward 8 without working through him," she said in her email. "To launch the program, I'll have to work with him. Being angry wouldn't accomplish anything for Ward 8."