D.C. City Council member David A. Clark (D-Ward 1) accused council Chairman-elect Arrington Dixon, yesterday of retreating from a previous agreement to name Clarke head of the council's influential finance and revenue committee next year.
Clarke, who earlier this year had thought about running for council chairman but ultimately decided not to, had endorsed Dixon. Clarke said yesterday that the two had reached "an understanding" that Clarke would be appointed to the post next year.
The committee's present chairman is council member Marion Barry (D-at large), who has been elected mayor and will take office Jan. 2.
In the last several weeks, Clarke said, Dixon has told him he wants Clarke to remain as chairman of th council's judiciary committee, and told others that he prefers John A. revenue chairman.
"I feel let down in the sense of this understanding and this sense of teamwork I thought we had," Clarke said, "and secondly, I think I'm the best qualified person for finance and revenue.
"It's clear I made a deal with him. The question is what were the terms of it . . . I say he's let me down."
Vivien Cunningham, a key Dixon adviser, said Dixon "did not make any deal with anybody. It's not his way of doing business . . . He appreaciated Dave's support and endorsement and looks forward to working with him."
The maneuvering for the post has been some of the most active of the last few weeks, as council members prepare for the first major change-over in council leadership in four years.
One leading city Democrat, who asked not to be named, said Dixon had said in a private conversation that there was no agreement between the two men "and I believe him."
The Democrat said Dixon said he preferred to have Clarke, a lawyer, remain as judiciary chairman because next year the city would for the first time have the power to enact its own criminal laws and many of them would go through the judiciary committee.
Clarke said he thinks Dixon is opposed to his being finance chairman largely because businessmen who support Dixon feel Clarke is "to uncompromising" on tax legislation, the major responsibility of the committee.