The Washington Times - May 10, 2011, 03:04PM

Observers of the D.C. Council hearing chaired by Ward 3 Democrat Mary Cheh into the Gray administration’s hiring practices understandably might be licking their lips in anticipation of potential star witness and Gray confidante Lorraine Green appearing before Ms. Cheh’s government operations committee on Friday.

But council staff members say Ms. Green, though expected to appear before the committee, is considering invoking her Fifth Amendment privilege on the grounds that it may incriminate her in a matter under review by the U.S. Attorney.

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Ms. Green’s attorney, Thomas C. Green — no relation — did not return a call from The Washington Times, and a Cheh staffer said the council member, who is a George Washington University law professor, is prepared for whatever happens. “We expect her to be there and answer questions,” the staffer said.

One might wonder why Ms. Green would even bother to show up and plead the Fifth, when her campaign operative Howard Brooks was excused from the hearing by Ms. Cheh simply by stating his intention to invoke the same privilege. Ms. Cheh cited ethical issues in removing Mr. Brooks from the witness list.

As for why Ms. Cheh opted not to request emails referring or relating to Lorraine Green sent or received by Mr. Gray, fired former chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall or departed former Human Resources director Judy Banks in a March 31 request to Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs, which is processing the committee’s document requests, the Cheh staffer could not exactly say. After the omission was pointed out Ms. Cheh’s office filed a revised request on May 4 seeking the pertinent documents related to Ms. Green.

Said the Cheh staffer: “The information we need changes with the testimony of subsequent witnesses.”