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6 subpoenaed for third round of Gray hearings

- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 14, 2011

A D.C. Council committee is issuing subpoenas for six witnesses to appear at a third hearing into the personnel practices of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, a council staffer said Thursday.

The hearing, in front of the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment, is tentatively scheduled for April 29, said Andrew Newman, a staffer for council member Mary M. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat and chairman of the committee.

Expected to testify is Sulaimon Brown, who was fired from a $110,000-a-year D.C. government job before creating shock waves last month by claiming he received the job and cash payments to stay in last year's mayor's race and badmouth incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

Mr. Brown appeared at the committee's second hearing last week and told reporters outside the chamber he would not cooperate with the council's investigation.

Howard L. Brooks, a Gray campaign consultant Mr. Brown labeled as the bagman who provided payments during the campaign, is also scheduled to testify. Mr. Brooks was scheduled to appear at the last hearing but was being interviewed by the U.S. attorney's office and did not appear.

Also appearing is Mr. Brooks' son, Peyton, who received and then resigned from a $110,000-a-year job in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Nicholas Hall, the son of Mr. Gray's former chief of staff, Gerri Mason Hall, is expected to testify about a city government job he was given.

Cherita Whiting, a Ward 4 activist who supported Mr. Gray's campaign for mayor and was given a city job despite her failure to disclose past felony convictions, will also be called to testify.

Ms. Whiting has retained D.C. attorney A. Scott Bolden. Mr. Bolden on Thursday said he had not yet met with his client and declined to offer any details about the nature of his representation or her recent separation from her city government job.

The committee will recall the former interim head of the Department of Human Resources, Judy Banks, to resolve conflicting testimony about who in the administration directed the controversial hirings.

One person not currently scheduled to testify is Gray confidante and former campaign and transition chairman Lorraine A. Green. Ms. Green will testify at a future date.

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