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Posted at 06:54 PM ET, 01/05/2012

A guide to the D.C. Council’s latest blunders

It was a year of scandals and stumbles for some members of the D.C. Council, capped by the theft charge filed Thursday against council member Harry Thomas Jr. We take a look back at a few of the other recent stories about other sticky issues involving council members.

Jump to the council member:

Kwame R. Brown, Chairman

Michael A. Brown, At Large

Jim Graham, Ward 1

Jack Evans, Ward 2

Harry Thomas Jr., Ward 5

Tommy Wells, Ward 6

Yvette Alexander, Ward 7

Marion Barry, Ward 8


Kwame Brown (Matt McClain - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Kwame R. Brown, Chairman (D)

Term: Jan. 2, 2011 - Jan. 13, 2013

Quick bio: Brown served as an at-large member of the D.C. Council from 2005 to 2010. He was elected chairman in 2010.

Sticky issue: As chairman-elect in January 2011, Brown requested a “fully loaded” black SUV with black interior that cost the District about $2,000 a month to lease. When a Lincoln Navigator L with a gray interior arrived, Brown insisted on the black-on-black vehicle and the city paid for both cars until one could be returned. At the time, the District was under a projected $400 million budget shortfall.



Michael A. Brown, (I-At Large)

Term: Jan. 2, 2009 - Jan. 2, 2013

Quick bio: In 2008, Brown was elected an at-large member of the D.C. Council and has served in the position since.

Sticky issue: In January 2011, Brown owed more than $14,000 in property taxes on his Chevy Chase home. A day after The Washington Post reported the debt, Brown paid it in full. Two weeks later, the IRS filed a lien against the home for almost $14,000 in unpaid income taxes for the past two years. Brown paid off the debt. During the incidents, Brown was a leading advocate for increasing the income tax of wealthy D.C. residents to help close the city’s budget gap.



Jim Graham (Mark Gail - WASHINGTON POST)
Jim Graham, (D-Ward 1 )

Term: Jan. 2, 2011 - Jan. 2, 2015

Quick bio: Jim Graham was first elected in 1998 and now serves as chairman of the council’s Committee on Human Services.

Sticky issue: Graham’s former chief of staff, Ted G. Loza, was sentenced to eight months in prison in 2009 after he admitted that he received $1,500 during a D.C. taxi industry corruption investigation.



Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre. (Stephen Baranovics)
Jack Evans, (D-Ward 2)

Term: Jan. 2, 2011 - Jan. 2, 2015

Quick bio: First elected to the council in 1991, Evans serves as chairman of the council’s Committee on Finance and Revenue.

Sticky issue: A Washington Post review of Office of Campaign Finance records showed that Evans has spent $135,897 for professional sports tickets during the past decade using money from his constituent services fund.

During a vote on a sweeping ethics bill in December, members of the council voted to amend the bill to allow Evans to continue buying season tickets.





Harry Thomas Jr. (THE WASHINGTON POST)
Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5)

Term: Jan. 2, 2011 - Jan. 1, 2015

Quick bio: Thomas, the son of late three-term Ward 5 council member Harry Thomas Sr., was first elected to the council in 2006.

Sticky issue: Thomas was charged Jan 5. with stealing more than $350,000 in government funds. What lead up to this warrants its own post.



Tommy Wells (Marvin Joseph - WASHINGTON POST)
Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6)

Term: Jan. 2, 2011 - Jan. 1, 2015

Quick bio: Wells was first elected to the council in 2006, then reelected in 2010.

Sticky issue: Wells is on the outs with his council colleagues after his investigation of Brown for ordering two SUVs at taxpayers’ expense, and was ousted from his chairmanship of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation.



Yvette Alexander (YVETTE M. ALEXANDER)
Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7)

Term: Jan. 2, 2009 - Jan. 2, 2013

Quick bio: Alexander was first elected to the council in 2007 and serves as chair of the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs.

Sticky issue: A recent audit cleared Ward 7 council member Yvette M. Alexander of allegations that she received monetary benefits by improperly using her constituent services fund to pay for political robocalls.


Marion Barry, Jr. (D-Ward 8)

Term: Jan. 1, 2009 - Jan. 2, 2013

Quick bio: There is no such thing, but we’ll try. Barry has served multiple terms on the council beginning in 1976, and is currently chair of the Committee on Aging and Community Affairs. Barry served as the second elected mayor of the District from 1979 to 1991.


Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) speaks with Marita Coley, executive director of Capital Area Asset Builders. (Evy Mages - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
Publicized problems: On Jan. 19, 1990, Barry was arrested on cocaine charges as part of an investigation between federal agents and District police. He soon returned to politics with an election to the council in 1992 and with a second mayoral term that lasted from 1995 to 1999.

In December, the IRS filed a new lien on Barry’s home, claiming unpaid income taxes of $3,267.29. “It does no good for the media to sensationalize this situation and beat me up as I have been using the processes established by the IRS to resolve this matter,” Barry said in a statement the day after the lien was filed.

Follow the D.C. Council on Twitter by using this list.

By Sylvia Carignan and  |  06:54 PM ET, 01/05/2012

 
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