- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 22, 2011

Questions about Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s hiring practices aren’t likely to go away as long as inconsistencies remain in the stories of those involved.

The latest “he-said, she-said” emerged after the mayor’s campaign chairman and confidante, Lorraine A. Green, testified before a D.C. Council committee investigating claims of nepotism and poor vetting by the mayor’s transition team.

At his weekly news briefing last week, Mr. Gray said he was not involved in doling out “win bonuses” to people who worked on the campaign.

“Actually, I didn’t even know about them until after the fact,” he told reporters. “I played no role in who got them and what they got. It was campaign leadership that did that.”

But that account doesn’t appear to square with what Ms. Green told the committee five days earlier, specifically in an exchange with council member Mary M. Cheh about whether campaign consultant Howard Brooks received a win bonus.

Green: I pretty much know the people that the mayor hired, that he was going to give win bonuses to.

Cheh: Because you had discussions with him, this was something you talked about?

Green: Talked to the mayor about?

Cheh: Yes.

Green: Yes. But he made the decision.

Looks as if we still have a ways to go before this scandal is over.

New partnership

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown announced last week that he is engaged to be married.

The 49-year-old former delegate and Iraq War veteran proposed to Karmen Bailey Walker, a government affairs director for Comcast.

The couple is expected to marry in summer 2012.

Marriage likely will come with some new responsibilities for Mr. Brown, an all-but-certain 2014 gubernatorial contender whose current professional duties consist largely of presiding over commissions and making appearances on behalf of his political partner, Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Just the eighth person to hold the office of lieutenant governor since it was restored by a 1970 constitutional amendment, Mr. Brown’s vague job description says he “shall have only the duties delegated to him” by the governor.

Come to think of it, maybe marriage won’t seem so unfamiliar after all.

Kind words

Is the controversial relocation of 4,000 defense workers to the Mark Center in Alexandria bringing Virginia Democrats and Republicans together?

Rep. James P. Moran complimented not one but two Republicans when talking last week about state and local leaders’ quest to delay the move to allow time for road improvements to ease predicted traffic gridlock.

“The governor was absolutely right to request the delay,” the Alexandria Democrat said of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s letter to Pentagon officials asking them to postpone the move.

Mr. Moran also complimented Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes, who furthered corresponding legislation. “Credit goes to Randy Forbes for putting that through his subcommittee,” Mr. Moran said.

Tom Howell Jr., David Hill and Paige Winfield Cunningham contributed to this report.

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