Late last week, and on into this week, Mayor Vincent C. Gray took major heat for a proposal to approve pay raises for some of his top executives. Initial press reports sparked by a Friday D.C. Council hearing didn’t include much defense of the bill, but at least one person took to the reader comments to offer some context.

That context largely matches a statement issued by the Gray administration to a TV reporter recently — in several cases, word for word.

“This bill seeks to ratify the salaries previously authorized by the Council to be paid to the Chief of Police, Medical Examiner and Chancellor since 2007. The only ‘new’ salary would be that of the Fire Chief,” reads a statement attributed to a mayoral spokesperson in a Wednesday WJLA-TV story.

A comment made four days prior on a City Paper blog post includes the following statement: “[T]his bill seeks to ratify the salary previously authorized to be paid to the Chief of Police, Medical Examiner and Chancellor since 2007. The only ‘new’ salary would be that of the Fire Chief.” Another comment, made Tuesday on a Washington Examiner column, is essentially identical.

Gray spokeswoman Doxie McCoy said Thursday that she sent the statement to Gonzalez; she provided the full text of the statement below, which reveals more matches between the various comments. McCoy said the she, General Counsel Brian Flowers and communications consultant Lon Walls were involved in the drafting of the statement

McCoy, Flowers and Walls denied having posted any comments. “None of us would have posted anything anonymously,” McCoy said, adding that she also checked with the entire communications staff. “Only thing I can think of is someone asked us for a response and that may have been what was sent and someone took it upon themselves to post it anonymously. ... I never post anything anonymously on any blogs.”

Here is the full statement that the Gray administration provided to WJLA-TV’s John Gonzalez for his story on the topic that aired yesterday; matching parts are bolded and numbered.

The bill before the Council was modeled after legislation that was adopted by the Council on multiple occasions and was in effect for several years. Both the previous bill and this one raise the pay levels to accommodate the salaries of the Chief Lanier and the Acting Chancellor Henderson. The Superintendent/Chancellor’s salary is out of sync, because prior to Mayoral control that salary was negotiated by the independent Board of Education and was not subject to the pay scale for other agency heads. The salaries of the heads of other independent agencies, DCWASA, DCHA, UDC, Convention Center, etc., have always been above the scale. [1] Since Mayoral control, the Chancellor has been considered a subordinate agency head and subject to the traditional EOM scale. Even former Superintendent Janey in 2004 made $250,000 , in addition to a substantial bonus. The Chiefs, historically, were previously paid under separate statutory authority, and physicians, such as the Chief Medical Examiner, generally warrant additional income allowances that allow them to be paid on a higher scale.

The primary difference between this administration’s and previous versions is that our bill covers only 4 positions whereas the previous versions authorized higher pay for 6 positions. Additionally, the original Fenty bill that was amended by the Council did not provide for Council approval of salaries in excess of the existing pay scale. This one does. Under the bill, no salary higher than the current cap can be set unless the Council approves the salary. [2]

The salaries of 3 of the 4 persons subject to this legislation were set by Mayor Fenty, not Mayor Gray. That legislation expired. This bill seeks to ratify the salaries previously authorized by the Council to be paid to the Chief of Police, Medical Examiner and Chancellor since 2007. The only “new” salary would be that of the Fire Chief -- and that is the same as that of his predecessor that was previously approved by the Council. [3] The legislation specifically names the positions and salaries affected. The Council has been, and will continue to be required to authorize salaries above the existing scale.

Here is comment was submitted by “dcresident” on Saturday to a blog post by City Paper’s Alan Suderman:

This is the same legislation that was approved under Fenty -- and the salaries of 3 of the 4 persons subject to the legislation were set by Fenty, not Gray. That legislation expired. Thus, this bill seeks to ratify the salary previously authorized to be paid to the Chief of Police, Medical Examiner and Chancellor since 2007. The only “new” salary would be that of the Fire Chief -- and that is less than that of his predecessor. [3]

The primary difference between this and previous versions is that this bill covers only 4 positions whereas the previous versions authorized higher pay for 6 positions. The original Fenty bill, that was amended by the Council, did not provide for Council approval of salaries in excess of the existing pay scale. This one does. Under the bill, no salary higher than the current cap can be set unless the Council approves the salary. [2]

The bill was transmitted approximately 2 months ago. The Council, not the Mayor decides when to hold hearings on legislation. Read the text of the bill and not only the summary. It specifically names the salaries and positions affected. The Council has been, and will continue to be required to authorize salaries above the existing scale.

And this comment was posted by “B Relevant” to Jonetta Rose Barras’s Tuesday Examiner column on the same topic.

The salaries of 3 of the 4 persons subject to this legislation were set by Fenty, not Gray. That legislation expired. This bill seeks to ratify the salaries previously authorized by the Council to be paid to the Chief of Police, Medical Examiner and Chancellor since 2007. The only “new” salary would be that of the Fire Chief -- and that is the same as that of his predecessor. [3]

The primary difference between this and previous versions is that this bill covers only 4 positions whereas the previous versions authorized higher pay for 6 positions. The original Fenty bill that was amended by the Council did not provide for Council approval of salaries in excess of the existing pay scale. This one does. Under the bill, no salary higher than the current cap can be set unless the Council approves the salary. [2]

The salaries that would be covered by the highest pay scale would be the incumbent Chief Lanier and the Chancellor. The Superintendent/Chancellor’s salary is out of sync, because prior to Mayoral control that salary was set by the independent Board of Education. The salaries of the heads of other independent agencies, DCWASA, DCHA, UDC, Convention Center, etc., have always been above the scale. [1] Now the Chancellor is considered a subordinate agency head and subject to that scale. Even Janey in 2004 made $250,000.