- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An independent investigation has found that former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry violated conflict-of-interest laws when he awarded a contract to his then-girlfriend.

Lawyer Robert S. Bennett said in a report Tuesday that Mr. Barry, now a D.C. Council member, forced the woman, Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, to turn over portions of the contract payments to him.

Ms. Watts-Brighthaupt was paid a total of $15,000. According to Mr. Bennett’s report, Mr. Barry initially wanted to hire her for a project that council officials deemed too political. The contract was changed, but Mr. Bennett said Ms. Watts-Brighthaupt carried out the original proposal.

Mr. Bennett also said Mr. Barry tried to impede his investigation by telling a witness to withhold documents.

Mr. Barry’s spokeswoman and his lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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