In an ironic turn of events, a prominent campaign supporter of Mayor Vincent C. Gray has been asked by the Gray administration to resign from a major city board.
Bill Slover became a familiar face on the hustings after playing a key role in the parks contracting controversy that became a major campaign issue. Slover, who had been appointed by then-Mayor Adrian Fenty to chair the D.C. Housing Authority board, publicly questioned the Fenty administration’s decision to route parks contracts through DCHA that eventually awarded a lucrative management contract to a politically connected company.
Slover, a real-estate developer and president of the Palisades Citizens Association, was among a handful of prominent Gray supporters in Ward 3. His wife, Laura McGiffert Slover, is the ward’s elected member of the State Board of Education.
Therein lies the rub. Ronald Collins, Gray’s director of boards and commissions, said that Bill Slover’s position runs afoul of a city law that prevents the spouse of an elected official from serving on the DCHA board.
”My job is to enforce the statute,” Collins said. “When we spoke, I told him we’d be happy to consider him for something else on another board.”
Slover said Wednesday that being asked to resign was a “disappointing outcome.”
“You can’t disagree,” he said of the law. “It’s written in pretty plain English.” But Slover said he had hoped the Gray administration would ask the D.C. Council to make an exception for spouses of school board members.
“Clearly the State Board of Education doesn’t get involved in the daily operations of the city,” he said, adding that he’s not immediately interested in another appointment.
Last week, Gray sent four DCHA board nominees to the D.C. Council for confirmation: Bernadette Tolson, a former chief of staff to Marion Barry (D-Ward 8); Pedro Alfonso, who owns a technology company that has long held city contracts (and backed a 2004 effort to bring slot machines to Ward 5); Terri Thompson-Mallet, a government affairs executive for Howard University Hospital and former council staffer; and Clarence Mobley, a District architect.