“I do apologize for misleading everyone listening to our board meeting last month,” Dorsey said at the start of the board’s monthly Saturday hearing. “I realize now that in attempting to explain the chronology of my actions, I left you with the impression that I had returned the contribution. I did not intend to mislead you, but by not clearly stating that I did not have the funds to repay the donation, my remarks had that effect.”
Dorsey said he returned the contribution on Friday.
His state campaign finance form, filed Dec. 31, shows only $3,299 left in his account. Dorsey is also going through a personal bankruptcy.
The donation in July should have been disclosed to the Metro board under that transit agency’s ethics policy. But Dorsey, who was serving as Virginia’s voting member on the panel, did not report it to the board until Oct. 31.
The board stripped him of his committee leadership and ordered him to repay the money.
After Audrey Clement, who ran against Dorsey in the county board election this past fall, raised the issue at the board’s Jan. 25 meeting, Dorsey claimed that he had written a check to the union before the end of 2019 but that it had not been cashed.
The union later told The Washington Post that it never received a check.
Dorsey also told Clement at the meeting that he did not need to list the check on his Virginia campaign finance report until it had been cashed, but state elections officials and others told The Post that was incorrect.
As of this past week, the county board said it was reconsidering its support of Dorsey.
Libby Garvey (D), board chair, said the directive for him to step down from the NVTC came after extensive discussions with him. She began Saturday’s session by saying it was unacceptable for Dorsey to have not given a “transparent” answer to Clement and the public last month, although at the time, she stood behind him.
“His misleading a resident either intentionally or unintentionally is not acceptable,” Garvey said Saturday. “Everyone is human, and that means we make mistakes, sometimes big mistakes. What’s important is to recognize our mistakes.”
Frequent board critic Bobbie Fisher also called for Dorsey and the entire board to step down for “covering up his egregious behavior . . . and flagrant abuse of power.” Neither Dorsey nor Garvey responded to her statements.
Dorsey told The Post on Saturday that he sent a check by certified mail to the union and that it is expected to be delivered by Monday.