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The nine witnesses who did appear Thursday drew a slew of reporters, city employees and other interested parties to the first-floor hearing room in city hall.

Mr. Catania, at-large independent, zeroed in on the placement of Ms. Hall’s son in a job at the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation. Ms. Hall, the former Gray chief of staff, said she kept her son’s hiring at “arms-length,” yet spoke to former interim personnel director Judy Banks about it.

Mr. Catania said Ms. Hall gave Ms. Banks a large raise, a salary of $180,000 that exceeded the legal limit, and then handed over her son’s resume.

“I relied on the process. I didn’t go to an agency head,” Ms. Hall said.

“There was no process,” Mr. Catania said, noting there was no job interview.

Other testimony cast a sympathetic light on the hiring of several Cabinet members’ children, who later resigned under scrutiny. In addition to them was Leslie Green, the daughter of Ms. Green, who served as the chairman of the mayor’s campaign and transition team but was not a government employee.

Outside the hearing, Mrs. Cheh noted the “children” offered candid testimony and appeared to be highly educated and qualified.

“I’m at least glad they had a chance to tell their story,” Mrs. Cheh said.

But testimony from higher-level officials, notably Rochelle Webb, intrigued the committee as it delved into the executive’s hiring practices.

Ms. Webb, the mayor’s first nominee to lead the Department of Employment Services (DOES), accused the administration of taking away her job without notice because she might provide damaging testimony before the committee.

Ms. Webb said it was Ms. Banks who asked Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe to find a job for her son, Brandon, and not the other way around.

Ms. Webb also testified she asked for $150,000 in salary and $10,000 in relocation expenses, but received a $165,000 salary and no cap on relocation funds.

“It was one of the best surprises I’ve received,” Ms. Webb said.

Ms. Webb testified that mounting scrutiny about her use of city dollars and management practices were used as a pretext to get rid of her.

Mr. Catania noted that witness intimidation is a crime.

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