Partial transcript of D.C. Mayor Marion Barry's news conference:
Q. Your wife has received a great deal of publicity for an interview she gave on Friday. Do you have any regrets that she gave that interview?
A. We have been mayor for nine years, and we have done a great deal to improve the city. Downtown has come alive. It was dying in 1979. We've just finished the most successful job training program . . . . We're announcing today the reorganization of public housing. We've had a regional job plan. Our streets are looking better than ever before. We've spent over $20 billion in taxpayers' money. Our budget has been balanced for the last six years . . . .
Q. But mayor, there are reports that that interview and your decision to hold a news conference concerning your ceremonial fund caused infighting in your administration. Do you feel you made the right decision to hold that press conference and your wife made the right decision to give the interview?
A. We're in a strong position. This is our ninth year as mayor . . .
Q. Mayor, but . . .
A. Let me finish. I didn't interrupt you. This is my ninth year as mayor. I'm in a strong position. The citizens have great faith in our ability to lead our city. There are vast improvements everywhere, So we're operating from a position of strength, not a position of weakness. I'm one of those mayors whose management style is to allow free and unlimited debate, to a point. But once the debate is over, I'm the bottom line. I take full responsiblity for everything in my administration: the good, the bad and the ugly . . . and that's the end of that.
Q. Mayor, are you growing frustrated with all the reports coming out concerning the probe?
A. I have been mayor about nine years, and I love every day of this job. I think the people are appreciative of the kind of leadership I have provided, and we intend to provide even better leadership because we get better as we get older. I have put 26 years of my life into public service, and intend to continue this term for three years and four months and decide in 1989 or so if I have enough left.
Q. Mayor, how long have you been mayor?
A: Nine years . . .
Q. Mayor, would it be safe to say you're not going to answer that question?
A. I answered the question satisfactorily.
Q. There's an investigation by the FBI that police are skimming drugs from dope dealers . . . do you have any indications that is true and what are you doing as mayor to correct the situation?
A. I'm not going to comment about anything before the grand jury, but let me say that in the past seven or eight years, we have significantly reduced crime. Crime is down 30 percent in the last four years. We have had a war on drugs. We have arrested some 23,000 people in Operation Clean Sweep. Our police officers are out working hard every day trying to make this city a little bit safer for us to live in . . . and that's a record that I'm proud of.
Q. Mr. Mayor, can we get back to Effi Barry for a minute?
A. She's my wife.
Q. Yes sir. I know that, sir. Do you feel that her talking about all these personal things have helped your administration, hurt your administration, in what appears to be a time of crisis?
A. Our administration is in a strong position. We're working daily to manage the government. We have a budget of $3.3 billion and 40,000 employes. And I'm putting in 14 to 16 hours a day, and Effi has tolerated me not being home when I should be, and Christopher has been very supportive. And we love each other. Thank you.