Rhee’s status still unclear after meeting with Gray

** FILE ** D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray speaks in Washington early on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. Voters in the nation's capital chose Mr. Gray as the Democratic mayoral candidate over current Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, a backer of education reform who some said had become out of touch with his constituency. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)** FILE ** D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray speaks in Washington early on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. Voters in the nation’s capital chose Mr. Gray as the Democratic mayoral candidate over current Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, a backer of education reform who some said had become out of touch with his constituency. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, widely expected to be the city’s next mayor, and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee emerged Thursday from their first private meeting since the Sept. 14 primaries with her employment status likely still up in the air.

“This was not a decision-making meeting,” said Mr. Gray, who defeated Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in the Democratic mayoral primary earlier this month and thus is an overwhelming favorite to win the general election is the heavily Democratic city.

Mr. Gray said he and Miss Rhee will meet again in the “next couple of weeks.”

Miss Rhee, who was appointed by Mr. Fenty, would not discuss anything about the meeting.

Miss Rhee’s status as superintendent was a heated issue throughout the Democratic primary, and it intensified as polls showed Mr. Fenty trailing. Gray backers ran ads criticizing Miss Rhee’s policies, including her firing of hundreds of D.C. Public Schools teachers.

As Miss Rhee campaigned harder to get her boss re-elected, Mr. Gray remained steadfast in his refusal to say whether she would stay or go.

The Gray-Rhee meeting followed a courtesy call from U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., a longtime Gray acquaitance. Mr. Holder said he was representing the Obama administration and would begin an “ongoing dialogue” with Mr. Gray. The attorney general, who formerly served as the top prosecutor for the District of Columbia, said he had met with Mr. Fenty on two occasions since he became mayor.

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About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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