A long-time District of Columbia official didn't get what he wanted and made history in the process; many Washingtonians thought it was a good thing.
The action came as a result of a resent DC Board of Ethics report that alleges while Graham sat on the DC Metro Board he was willing to trade-in his vote on the city's $38 million lottery contract for Banneker Ventures dropping its bid to develop land along Florida Avenue that's owned by Metro while he was a member of the Metro board.
Specifically, Graham asked Banneker Ventures principal Warren C. Williams to walk away from the 2008 development idea. The Washington Times reported that the council member said he would be more inclined to support Mr. Williams‘ simultaneous bid for the D.C. Lottery contract, according to the report.
Previously Graham had stated these allegations were false, but he told WUSA9 he would no longer fight the reprimand, but during the hearing he made it absolutely clear that he diagreed with the hearing (he as mentioned publically that he would prefer an investigation by the DC Council instead).
In a statement Graham says:
"It is time to move on. I have very important responsibilities as chairman of the human services committee and all the responsibility of representing Ward 1. Going forward, I will continue to represent the people who elected me to serve with the same passion and fervor as I have from my first day in office."
While what people believe Graham to do was not illegal, many thought it clearly was an unethical thing to do. “Let me begin by saying that I do not relish this situation,” as stated by council Chairman Phil Mendelson, according to The Times.
It seemed that Graham has strong support from Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry. Now, Barry didn't believe that what is alleged that Graham did was right, but he did believe Graham's due process rights had been violated and a hearing where the councilman could better defend himself should have been held. Barry took it a step further and mentioned that he thought the decision to push forward with this measure was "politically motivated" because a few are considering a possible mayoral bid.
Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells says that he's worried that a simple hearing and reprimand will not sink into the hearts and minds of Washingtonian and their elected leaders. He's responded that the action may not go far enough.
The resolution to reprimand stipped Graham of oversight authority on alcohol issues
This isn't the first time Graham had been on the wrong end of a hearing or committee investigation. He himself gave a lengthy discussion about a 2010 censuring of him by the DC Council, where he was as chairman of the Housing and Workforce Development Committee.