October 4, 2005

Ex-DC mayor investigated over taxes – reports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion
Barry, now a city council member, is under investigation for
failing to pay income tax, local media reported on Tuesday.

Barry, 69, who made a comeback in Washington politics
despite a conviction for smoking crack cocaine that ended his
mayoral term 15 years ago, declined to comment on the reports,
which could not be independently confirmed with prosecutors.

NBC affiliate WRC-TV, The Washington Post, and WTOP radio,
all citing unnamed sources, said that Barry was negotiating a
deal with authorities to settle the matter.

WRC and The Washington Post said that the probe involved
unfiled returns and unpaid taxes dating to 1998, and that a
settlement would hinge upon Barry pleading guilty to a
misdemeanor which would not involve any jail time.

He could appear in U.S. District Court in Washington within
the next several days, according to the reports.

There was no immediate comment from Barry's office, a
spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kenneth Wainstein or spokespersons
for the Internal Revenue Service and the District of Columbia
Office of Tax and Revenue.

Barry last year made his second political comeback in a
dozen years to win election as the council member for the
city's poorest ward. After his 1990 conviction for cocaine
possession, he spent six months in jail but returned in 1992 to
win a city council seat and was elected mayor again in 1994.

Last week, his successor, Anthony Williams, who was
credited for returning the city to fiscal prosperity after
years of turmoil, said he would not seek a third term as mayor,
throwing next year's election wide open.

While Barry has not entered the race for mayor, he has been
mentioned as a possible candidate for city council chairman.
The current council chairman, Linda Cropp, is running for