An FBI clerical employe under investigation for allegedly providing confidential information on a corruption probe to associates of Mayor Marion Barry resigned yesterday, informed sources said.
FBI officials are probing whether the woman and a second clerical worker funneled information through a longtime Barry associate, Herbert Young, who was indicted last week on cocaine distribution charges. Young has told associates that prosecutors have attempted to question him about $41,000 worth of city business that he obtained after telling the mayor of an FBI surveillance of the mayor's house.
Neither of the two FBI employes is expected to be prosecuted in connection with the alleged unauthorized release of information because of insufficient evidence, sources said. Sources identified the two workers as Dietrice Young and Meta Carpenter. It could not be determined last night which of the two had resigned.
The two women worked in a special section of the Washington FBI field office devoted to investigations of public corruption. Sources said neither had access to information obtained through numerous court-ordered wiretaps that have provided investigators with a large portion of their evidence in the current probe of city contracting.
One source said that Herbert Young was one of several Barry associates who were able to obtain sensitive investigative information from law enforcement agencies, and that some city officials were able to use the information to thwart the federal probe of contracting practices. The source said these allegations are part of a broad obstruction-of-justice investigation now being conducted in connection with the contracting probe.
The Washington Times reported yesterday that the FBI was conducting an internal investigation of possible leaks by clerical employes. The Times said that the employes told agents that they had been approached by an unnamed associate of Barry, but the women said they had not turned over any information.
The Washington Post has reported that the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office are attempting to determine whether city officials were trying to interfere with the contracting probe when the officials ordered electronic surveillance sweeps of the mayor's campaign headquarters and the homes of several of his Cabinet members.
The FBI also is investigating possible obstruction of justice involving two D.C. contractors who allegedly paid convicted cocaine dealer Karen K. Johnson $20,000 to $25,000 in exchange for her refusal to testify three years ago before a federal grand jury looking into possible drug use by the mayor and others.
Young's attorney, G. Allen Dale, said last night that Young "unequivocally denies obtaining information from the FBI in any way and then passing it on to Mayor Marion Barry." Young was out of town yesterday and could not be reached for comment. The U.S. attorney's office declined comment on the reports.
Young, 58, described himself to acquaintances as a "fence-straddler" who provided some information to the FBI about possible irregularities in the award of D.C. contracts, while at the same time attempting to gather information that could be used to undermine the undercover phase of the agency's investigation, which ended May 22.
Young, echoing several other contractors, has told acquaintances that it was well-known among contractors that undercover agents were posing as contractors or employes of contractors. Young has said that he was eager to discover the agents' identity and possibly gain information that could damage their credibility.
After his arrest two weeks ago on the drug charges, Young told acquaintances that prosecutors offered to strike a deal if he would tell them how he obtained $41,000 worth of city business in May.
According to Young's account, the mayor referred him to one of his top advisers, David E. Rivers, during a phone conversation in May. The mayor made the referral after Young told him that he had spotted an FBI agent in a car behind the mayor's house, Young has said.
Sources said that Rivers later told officials of the D.C. Department of Human Services to look for work for Young. Young has told acquaintances that he did not consider the work to be "a thank-you" for the information provided and did not see anything improper in Barry's or Rivers' actions.
Barry has denied that Young informed him of any surveillance and also said he did not refer Young to Rivers. Rivers' attorney has said his client has done nothing improper.
Young has known the mayor since he worked for Pride Inc., a self-help organization that Barry founded in 1967. In recent years, Young has headed Playland Construction, which has been renamed Aafro Construction Co.
In another development, an attorney for Barry yesterday filed an appeal of a U.S. District Court judge's ruling in July that dismissed Barry's complaint of prosecutorial misconduct that the mayor had filed against U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova.
Herbert O. Reid Sr., Barry's counsel, said the action was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Reid said Barry was seeking a reversal of a decision by U.S. District Chief Judge Aubrey E. Robinson Jr., who ruled against Barry July 24.
Barry, in a suit filed June 12, contended that federal prosecutors and other law enforcement officials improperly leaked information to the news media about a federal probe of District government contracting. Reid said yesterday that Robinson dismissed the case without fully considering Barry's allegations.