Column: Time for D.C.’s Marion Barry to Go

Allan Lengel
Allan Lengel
By Allan Lengel

D.C. Marion Barry, the guy who got busted years ago for smoking crack, the guy who got busted for failing to pay taxes, the guy who has been one great big embarrassment to the District of Columbia, has now been stripped of his committee chairmanship on the D.C. Council and faces the prospect of yet another federal investigation.

The D.C. Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to censure and strip the chairmanship from the never-a-dull moment politician as a result of an independent report by attorney Robert S. Bennett, which found that Barry landed his ex-girlfriend Donna Watts-Brighthaupt a $15,000 personal-services contract and then took a cut of the contract himself.

Ex-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry
Ex-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry

The council also referred the report to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Washington Post reported.

Marion Barry, former mayor, former community activist, has done some good things for D.C. But he has also done plenty harm. It’s not good when you’re the punchline for comedian Chris Rock. It’s not good when the masses lose faith in you as a leader.

Taxpayers over the years have paid for the expensive federal investigation into his wrongdoing — including him not paying taxes.

He has been an endless source of fodder and amusement for the media. But it’s time to put it to an end.

It’s time for him to step down from the city council — or be forced off.  He’s not a terrible guy. He’s just a terrible representative of the people.

It really is time to say goodbye.

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