Easily re-elected to the Ward 8 council seat in 2008, Mr. Barry was censured by his colleagues on the D.C. Council and stripped of his chairmanship of the council’s Committee on Housing and Workforce Development after a report accused him of steering a contract to a girlfriend and impeding an investigation into the matter.
The report, written by Washington lawyer Robert S. Bennett, who was asked to investigate the matter after details of the contract emerged last summer, also said Mr. Barry benefited personally by asking his then-girlfriend, Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, to use some of the money from the $15,000 contract to repay thousands of dollars that Mr. Barry said he had lent her.
The contract became the focus of attention after Mr. Barry was arrested in July on charges of stalking Ms. Watts-Brighthaupt. The charges later were dropped.
Mr. Barry disputed the report. The council referred its findings to the U.S. attorney’s office, the same office that previously filed the tax charges against Mr. Barry.
Mr. Barry, 74, served four terms as mayor. He served a six-month prison sentence after he was caught smoking crack cocaine in 1990 during his third term as mayor. In 1994, he was re-elected to his fourth term. He won a seat as the Ward 8 representative on the council in 2004.