Hazel Diane "Rasheeda" Moore testified yesterday that after she refused a request for sex from D.C. Mayor Marion Barry in May 1988, he said her city contract for a summer youth program might not be renewed.
Moore said that Barry made the statement at the Vista Hotel on an afternoon when she and the mayor had been smoking crack.
Yesterday was Moore's fifth and last day on the witness stand in Barry's drug possession, conspiracy and perjury trial. During that time, she testified that she took drugs with the mayor more than 100 times before agreeing to assist in the FBI sting at the Vista on Jan. 18. She also faced several days of cross-examination from Barry attorney R. Kenneth Mundy, who questioned her truthfulness and her motives in becoming an FBI informant.
Outside the courthouse, Mundy joked with reporters that he was happy Moore's testimony was over. "If I never see her again, it will be too soon," Mundy said.
Moore has said that she had a three-year relationship with Barry. Yesterday was the first time jurors heard about Barry's alleged threat to end her contract, but the subject came up once before in the trial, now in its fifth week.
Last Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith E. Retchin tried to elicit testimony about the alleged incident, but was blocked when Mundy objected. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson allowed the testimony yesterday, saying that Mundy had broached the subject himself by repeatedly trying to cast Moore's motives for testifying against the mayor in a bad light.
Moore then told the jury that after she, Barry and a mutual friend, Rose Marie "Maria" McCarthy, smoked crack at the Vista that day in 1988, the mayor called Moore into another room of the hotel suite and asked her for sex. When she refused, he told her she might lose her contract, she said. "Because I refused him, he said . . . 'I can't promise you the program this year,' " Moore testified. According to earlier testimony, 1988 was the last year the city funded Moore's program, a modeling skills project for teenagers called Project Me.
During a bench conference on the same subject last Wednesday, Retchin said that Moore told authorities that when she entered the room Barry was in, she found the mayor nude, and that Barry asked her to perform oral sex on him.
Moore also testified that her relationship with the mayor had opened the door to getting a city contract in the first place. In May 1986, when their affair was just beginning, she said that she came up with the idea for the Project Me program. Barry enthusiastically endorsed the idea and rushed it through the city approval process, she said.
"I knew it was going to be approved right away," Moore said. When Retchin asked why, she replied: "The mayor told me it would be approved."
Earlier in the day, under questioning by Mundy, Moore said that she has lived at government expense -- $1,700 a month -- since Jan. 5, when she moved here from California to take part in the sting. Mundy suggested that she, her three children and the man with whom she is living have received nearly $32,000 from the government so far, but Moore said she didn't know the total.
Later, under questioning by Retchin, Moore said that she is living at government expense because she received a threat on her life and is now in the federal witness protection program. She said that she now has a new name, and can see her mother and other family members only once or twice a year, when the government arranges rendezvous at a safe location. The man with whom she is living joined her and her children, she said, but the couple have been unable to marry because neither has new identification documents. The $1,700 they live on is less than the income they had when her boyfriend worked in California, she said.
She testified that she brought only $120 of her own money when the FBI moved her here for the sting, and that she spent $30 of that amount on drugs.
After Mundy's cross-examination, Retchin attempted to rehabilitate portions of Moore's testimony, and at one point Retchin focused on Moore's admission to Mundy that she exceeded her FBI instructions before the sting by inviting Barry to her room at the Vista.
After listening again to a tape of telephone conversations between herself and Barry, Moore told Retchin that no, she had not exceeded the instructions. From the tape, Moore said, it was clear that Barry had first mentioned coming by the Vista hotel.
Under further questioning by Mundy, however, Moore seemed to reverse herself yet again, conceding that she had first made the invitation to the hotel room after Barry said he wanted to meet her in the hotel's lobby.
Also, Moore testified yesterday that she was wrong last week when she testified she exceeded the FBI instructions by asking Barry about drugs after he said he was not interested.
Under questioning by Retchin, Moore said Barry had introduced drugs into the conversation when he first arrived and asked her if she had "been good." That phrase, she said she told the FBI before the sting, referred to drug use.
Asked by reporters to comment on Moore as a witness, Mundy said yesterday, "she was intelligent and resourceful. She made up things as she went along . . . . I guess she told the truth when she gave her name. I think most of everything else was a lie."
Specifically, Mundy attacked Moore on the subject of the death threat and the alleged contract on her life.
"I believe it's all a fabrication," Mundy said.
Mundy also told reporters he is skeptical about her statements that she decided to cooperate with the FBI because she had a profound religious experience.
Among the witnesses yet to testify is Barry friend Bettye Smith, a former employee of W.R. Lazard & Co., which has served as the city's financial adviser. In court papers, prosecutors have asked Jackson to compel Smith's testimony at trial. She has already received a grant of immunity for her testimony.
Smith was unavailable for comment last night. Sources familiar with the case said Smith could testify about one or more of the 10 possession counts.