…And, it seems, we have the most corruption.
According to the Washington Times, Robert V. Brannum, head of the Metropolitan Police Dept. 5th District Citizens Advisory Council (5DCAC), a political appointee of Mayor Gray, and an ally of Harry Thomas, Jr., has been accused of misusing the 5DCAC’s business checking account. The matter has been referred by the DC Auditor to the Inspector General’s office for investigation. It seems that a debit card was obtained (which is in violation of the group’s bylaws) and being unable to account for missing funds. Mr. Brannum is also the president of the DC Federation of Civic Associations and is Vice Chair of the Ward 5 Democrats, which he is currently running for Chair.
Another complaint filed, this time against ANC5B current Chair, Regina James, alleges that Ms. James used DC Government time and resources for and during her election and official duties for the ANC. The documents state that Ms. James used her DC government office phone number as her campaign phone number and has also used her DC government email to conduct official ANC business. The complaint was filed by a fellow ANC5B commissioner, Vaughn Bennett. Interestingly enough, Ms. James is attempting to remove Mr. Bennett from his position as Recording Secretary without announcing why although she claims she wants to bring transparency back to ANC5B.
Why transparency? Probably because the former Chair, William Shelton, has been accused of stealing nearly $30,000 from the ANC5B funds over the last 6-8 months. He has since resigned from the ANC. The other ANC members have a lot of public anger aimed at them for their failure to do their jobs and allowed Mr. Shelton to steal the money under their noses including the treasurer, who is still the treasurer of the ANC5B, who self-described her unknowing of the theft due to her not doing her job. Yet, Ms. James has yet to demand her resignation.
And the topper, as we all know, is the ongoing investigation into Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. I won’t dig up particulars as we are all aware of this one (just remember Hooters, an Audi, and missing money from a youth program). Mr. Thomas has claimed his innocence but has offered to pay back the nearly $300,000 that was missing because that is what innocent, public figures do. Offer to pay money back that they didn’t misuse.
So, who’s next, Ward 5? Tired of being the punching bag and laughing stock of the District? Ready to demand more from our elected officials? The blame for all of this is on ALL OF US! If we do nothing, it keeps happening and we, as residents, keep getting screwed. Wake up, Ward 5!