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Three minutes later, Ms. Banks wrote back to say Mr. Webb had the job.

“We don’t operate that fast,” Mr. Catania said of the city government.

Mr. Webb said he resigned with the understanding he would get a job later. He said the promise of a job dissipated as his resignation date got closer.

Mr. Webb said he felt misled during the ordeal.

Mr. Catania took the lead in pressing for answers and signs of cronyism, while council members Harry Thomas Jr., Ward 5 Democrat, and Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, suggested the scrutiny had gotten out of hand for little reason. Mr. Barry, even before Mr. Brown’s dramatic entrance into the chamber, called the proceedings a “witch hunt.”