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Attorney Says Barry Current on Tax Filings

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 16, 2009

D.C. Council member Marion Barry has filed his 2008 tax returns and is up-to-date in all of his other tax filings, his attorney says.

Barry, 72, is scheduled to appear this morning before a federal judge who is weighing whether to revoke the former mayor's probation for tax offenses.

Federal prosecutors have asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson to send Barry to jail, put him in a halfway house or extend his probation because he didn't file his 2007 return in a timely manner. He filed his 2007 federal and D.C. returns in February, shortly after prosecutors sought to have his probation revoked.

Barry (D-Ward 8), who admitted not paying the bulk of the taxes on $500,000 he made from 1999 through 2004, owes the federal government about $275,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties. The IRS has been taking $1,350 every two weeks from his salary since late 2006. He also has been paying the D.C. government $300 each month to pay back an undisclosed amount in taxes, interest and penalties. He did not make those payments during a recent six-month stretch, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors have expressed frustration with Barry, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor tax charges and was sentenced to three years of probation in March 2006, because he had not filed tax returns on time in eight of nine years. They unsuccessfully sought to have Barry's probation revoked in 2007 because he was late filing his 2005 returns.

Barry's attorney, Frederick D. Cooke Jr., said yesterday that the council member filed his 2008 returns several weeks ago and that he has properly submitted returns for previous years. He said Barry should be released from court supervision. "The facts and circumstances of Mr. Barry's life don't warrant the revocation of probation," he said. He added that Barry had been distracted by serious health problems. The former mayor is recovering from a recent kidney transplant.

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