D.C. Council Censures Marion Barry for Taking Cash Payments from City Contractors

Aaron C. Davis and Mike DeBonis, Washington Post, September 17, 2013

Marion Barry, the city’s most well-known and polarizing politician, was censured Tuesday by his D.C. Council colleagues for taking thousands of dollars in cash payments from contractors with business before the city.

The council voted 9 to 4 to strip Barry of his committee chairmanship, with some colleagues describing Barry’s lapse as another mark on the city’s dismal ethics record. In the past two years, three council members have pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.

For Barry, the censure was the second in three years and another transgression in a checkered political career.

As mayor in 1990, Barry was convicted of cocaine possession. More recently, as a council member, tax troubles resulted in probation. He was censured and stripped of a chairmanship in 2010 for giving a council contract to a girlfriend and directing city funds to nonprofit groups he created and controlled.

After that sanction, Barry lost his leadership post for a year. This time, the earliest Barry could regain a chairmanship is 2015.

Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5), who chaired a disciplinary panel that investigated Barry’s conduct, urged the full council to support the committee’s recommendation, saying the seriousness of Barry’s violation and his record of “recidivism” merited a “swift and serious” response from the council.


Barry began a wandering defense of his actions, saying he “cooperated fully” with the panel. He then grew more defiant, questioning the council’s authority to remove his chairmanship.


According to a report issued by the panel, Barry had told Keith Forney, the owner of Forney Enterprises, in early 2012 that he was “experiencing financial difficulty” related to a federal tax lien but “did not overtly ask for money.”

At least one of the cash payments, the report said, was passed from Forney to Barry during a meeting at the Stadium Club, a Northeast Washington strip club co-owned by Forney.

The panel found “insufficient evidence of a quid pro quo arrangement.” Both Barry and Forney told the panel that the payments were not in exchange for any particular act.


Barry said afterward that he was “not disappointed” in the sanction. “That’s not the only thing in life, to chair a committee,” he said.



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  • Spartacus

    Isn’t this the groid that got re-elected after they filmed him smoking crack ?

    • Libs are We Todd Ed

      Yes, with a prostitute I might add.

      • OlderWoman

        Blacks love having their criminals represent them in office, don’t they?

        • Beetlejuice

          They see it as getting one over on The Man.

      • Erasmus

        But for the smoking crack, it could have been MLK, Jr.

    • dukem1

      Marion Barry on AmRen..It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

    • Erasmus

      If you want to understand Barack Hussein Obama, just look at Marion Berry, Harold Washington or David Dinkins. They are all of a type.

  • WmarkW

    DC keeps clamoring about how unfair it is that they don’t have a vote in Congress.

    In principle they’re right, but the likelihood that they’d elect this clown a Senator, kind of shoots down their prospects.

    • It’s not unfair. D.C. is a Federal district created from the Constitutional authority given the Federal government to take territory from a state to create a Federal district.

      But if D.C. wants representatives and Senators so badly, then there is a proposal to treat Federal capital territory as if it was part of the state from which the territory was ceded, and its residents as quasi-residents of that state, for the purposes of House and Senate elections. This means that D.C. residents would be counted as Maryland residents for apportioning Congressional representation and would also get to vote in Maryland Senate elections.

      Why does the left not like that plan? Because Maryland elects two Democrat Senators in perpetuity anyway. What the left wants is two more Democrat Senators.

      • Mark Hillyard

        It would interfere with their ability to practice what they seem to think is their right to embezzle, defraud, receive bribes, and such. Pathetic bunch.

    • Ummm…. because the District of Colombia is not a state?

      It seems to me that whining that one doesn’t have congressional representation could be simply solved by moving to a real state. They’re so dumb, though, some of them would probably move to Guam and then continue complaining.

  • mgs166

    This guy is still alive?

  • Easyrhino1

    Aren’t there laws about public officials not accepting bribes? Even Jesse Jr. is serving time for malfeasance.
    Why the hell wasn’t this guy arrested?

    • Sick of it

      It may have something to do with the color of his skin.

  • JohnEngelman

    He must have learned that from Vice President Spiro Agnew.

  • QuinnTheEskimo9

    Difficult to believe that there is corruption in Washington D.C.
    Did a biyotch set him up?

  • bigone4u

    DC is a mess because of the racial solidarity displayed by blacks. Rather than demanding honest, effective colorblind government, they always elect a jive-azz brother who sticks it to them. Without Congressional oversight, DC would be Detroit.

    • IstvanIN

      The funny thing about blacks is they won’t even support an honest black politician because he would be “the white man’s candidate”.

  • mobilebay

    D.C. must be a three-ring circus, and have more crooks per sq. mile than any place else.

  • Libs are We Todd Ed

    A crooked black politician?

    • me

      They’re a penny a gross.

    • Luca

      Is there any other kind?

  • itdoesnotmatter

    “The panel found “insufficient evidence of a quid pro quo arrangement.”

    Amazing. This W.D.C. Barry [not the other one] is on tape smoking crack with a ho, [“the b***h set me up!] had numerous unethical charges levied, and all he receives is “censure” for receiving a cash kick-back?
    What does it take? A viral youtube tape of him sodomizing his daughter? Nah, that’s business as usual in the ghetto.
    This non-human needs to swing at high noon.

    • Rhialto

      Perhaps a video of him reading a book while listening to baroque music, volunteering in an animal shelter, or making a donation to AmRen would get him removed from the DC council.

      • itdoesnotmatter

        I believe you’re onto something there, Rhialto.

  • MBlanc46

    Marion Berry is a standard-issue black politician. To them, “public service” means sticking your snout into the trough and scarfing down as much as you can as fast as you can.

    • Beetlejuice

      Being a black politician means doing whatever you want: evading taxes, snorting up coke, using city/state money for vacations and bling, and getting re-elected by “your people” because you stuck it to The Man.

  • Sick of it

    If we did what he did, we would be in prison.

    • me

      Unless you’re a Bantu. They’re made of Teflon. Nothing a Bantu does is to be questioned. That would be raaaaycis!

    • Like Randy “Duke” Cunningham? From what I understand, he’s finally been released to home confinement. His federal sentence was 100 months.

      • Sick of it

        I’m not big on bribery or any underhanded dealings, either public or private. But yeah, an obvious double standard.

  • Luca

    No one could ever write a book on the corruption and criminality of black political or public figures. The number of crimes and infractions they commit are so prolific that as one page of the book is being written, 10 new pages of material is being created.

  • ThomasER916

    Bill Maher recently said that Democrats should elect only blacks. Of course, he’s following the Jewish model of destroying South Africa.

  • Why did he also later say “The b**** set me up”?