- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 16, 2009

Federal prosecutors Thursday dropped a request that D.C. Council member Marion Barry be incarcerated for failing to pay his taxes on time, instead asking a judge to extend the former mayor’s probation, subject him to electronic monitoring and give him a curfew.

“The government can read the tea leaves,” Mr. Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, said after a hearing in U.S. District Court.

During the proceedings before U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Zeno repeated the request that Mr. Barry be incarcerated for violating the terms of his probation by failing to file his tax returns on time and said confining the council member on weekends or in a halfway house “would satisfy the government.”

But following testimony by probation officer Kurt Panzer that two facilities that could house Mr. Barry had either intermittent or no on-site medical care, Mr. Zeno instead requested that Mr. Barry’s probation be extended two years and that he be subject to 30 days of electronic home monitoring with a curfew on nights and weekends.

Mr. Barry, 73, received a kidney transplant in February.

“For the reasons [Mr. Panzer] put out, we have changed our recommendations,” Mr. Zeno said.

Judge Robinson is expected to issue a written ruling in the coming days.

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