Sulaimon Brown to testify in D.C. Council probe

Sulaimon Brown, a fired D.C. government employee who has alleged he was promised a city job and was paid to bash then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on the campaign trail last year, is scheduled to testify Monday before a D.C. Council committee.

The council had sought court intervention to enforce a subpoena to compel him to testify. Before a Superior Court judge, Brown agreed last week that he would testify Monday. He and the council committee struck a deal to end the hearing by 7 p.m.

Brown said that he has “been instructed by federal investigators not to speak about certain issues.”

The U.S. attorney’s office and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are investigating Brown’s allegations that Lorraine Green, then Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s campaign chairman, and campaign consultant Howard Brooks paid him for his attacks against Fenty. Gray, Green and Brooks have denied Brown’s claims, and The Washington Post has not been able to independently verify any payments.

The allegations have exacerbated a rocky start to Gray’s administration, whose hiring practices are being investigated by the council. Gray was respected as chairman of the D.C. Council before defeating Fenty at the polls during a campaign themed on the idea that Gray would be a more mature leader who would clean up government. His campaign slogan was “Character. Integrity. Leadership.”


Fired D.C. government employee Sulaimon Brown, shown in April, is scheduled to testify Monday before a D.C. Council committee. (Susan Biddle/For The Washington Post)

Fenty’s critics said he was arrogant and unsympathetic. His tenure was not without controversy: The council investigated city contracts that the Fenty administration had awarded his friends and fraternity brothers. In March, the council released a report by an independent counsel who found no wrongdoing by Fenty but recommended that conflicts of interest among Fenty’s fraternity brothers be investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Gray kicked off his mayoral term by hiring more senior staff members at higher salaries than some in the Fenty administration were receiving. Soon, it became public that Brown, an auditor who had been unemployed since 2008 and who had had several scrapes with law enforcement, had landed a $110,000-a-year job as a special assistant in the Department of Health Care Finance. Brown was fired in February and soon after made his allegations in an interview with The Post.

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