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Gray confidante withdraws name from nomination

- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2011

A close confidant of Mayor Vincent C. Gray withdrew her nomination Monday to be the chairman of the Washington Convention Center and Sports Authority, the mayor's office said.

Lorraine A. Green, who served as chairman of Mr. Gray's campaign and transition team, "has decided to re-establish a business venture she put on hold several years ago and therefore cannot assume the WCCSA position," the mayor's office said.

The decision to withdraw her nomination comes after Council member Jack Evans, chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue that has oversight of the authority, said last month that he would indefinitely postpone the nomination pending the results of investigations into the Gray administration's personnel practices.

Ms. Green's departure comes three days after the mayor withdrew the nomination of Rochelle Webb as director of the Department of Employment Services (DOES).

Ms. Webb came under scrutiny after reports she stayed at the W Hotel during her first month in the District and had a personal driver. Officials said she self-reported the situation in a survey sent out by a council member.

The mayor said he withdrew Ms. Webb's nomination after consulting with Council member Michael A. Brown, who chairs the committee with oversight of DOES.

Ms. Green and Ms. Webb are two of the key witnesses expected to testify at Thursday's council hearing on the mayor's personnel practices, but a spokeswoman for the mayor said that had nothing to do with Ms. Green's decision.

"I don't think there's any connection," said Doxie McCoy. "I haven't received anything to suggest they're related to what's coming up."

Council Member Mary M. Cheh has already held one hearing, during which former members of the administration described how children of top officials -- including Ms. Green's daughter -- landed city jobs.

It is unclear if the departures of Ms. Green or Ms. Webb will affect Thursday's scheduled testimony.

"At this point, I don't think we have any comment," Mrs. Cheh's chief of staff said.

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