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Mr. Crawley did not respond to requests for comment. Ms. O’Neal, the fired FOP attorney who now represents Mr. Crawley, said in an email: “We will allow the administrative and judiciary process of [PERB] and the court system to resolve this matter without undue influence from the media.”

Mr. Crawley’s wife, Danielle, a law clerk in Ms. O'Neal’s office, declined to comment.

Officials at PERB, which will hold a hearing on the matter at the end of the month, also declined to comment.

In January, just after her election and swearing-in, Ms. Brown noticed that union finances had decreased precipitously over the past several years and were down to $50,000.

Three days later, she received a handwritten letter from a union member who described trying to get Ms. Brown’s predecessor, Tasha Williams, to file a grievance on the member’s behalf. According to the letter, Ms. Williams resisted and the member offered to pay her to do it. The letter states that Ms. Williams told the member to meet her at the union office, where she left instructions on how to turn over $200.

The member, Phyllis Cassell, declined to comment.

Ms. Williams also at one time assumed the duties of treasurer and began signing checks in violation of the union’s bylaws, the PERB complaint states. She denies any wrongdoing. Both Ms. Williams and Ms. Cassell still work at DYRS.

On Feb. 7, after complaining about Ms. Brown to Marcello Muzzatti, president of the FOP D.C. Lodge #1, which is composed of members from 114 law enforcement agencies and their affiliated unions, Mr. Crawley told Ms. Brown he and two other union officials had voted unanimously to hold an election to replace her.

‘Misleading the members’

Among the complaints he cited, according to a memo from Mr. Crawley to Ms. Brown, was “dictatorship,” “slander against the executive board” and “misleading the members.” The memo also informed Ms. Brown that Mr. Crawley would replace her until a special election was held.

But documents obtained by The Times show Ms. Brown receiving support in high places and questions being raised about Mr. Crawley.

On Feb. 16, Mr. Muzzatti wrote to Ms. Campbell at the labor relations office: “Takisha Brown is the chairperson … and will continue to be the chairperson unless the chairperson, PERB or myself advise you otherwise. Under no circumstances should a letter from a member advising you that a chairperson has been replaced … be acknowledged. If a member has a problem with the chairperson, he or she has a vehicle that will allow for the removal of the chairperson without violating any by-laws.”

Mr. Muzzatti did not respond to requests for comment.

A month later, Shawn Stokes, director of the D.C. Department of Human Resources (DCHR), confirmed in a letter to Ms. Brown that Mr. Crawley once held a union-eligible job with DYRS. But in 2007, Ms. Stokes wrote, while in a position ineligible for union membership, Mr. Crawley was elected vice president of the union.

When DYRS officials became concerned about a nonunion employee being a union official, the agency looked to the labor relations office, which instructed DYRS to move Mr. Crawley into a union position to preserve his election as a union officer, the letter states.

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