Sulaimon Brown and Cherita Whiting are the sole witnesses in a June 6 hearing, the next phase of the hiring practices investigation led by D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh.

The pair was among a handful of employees who were fired or who resigned after newspaper reports raised flags about the new administration’s hiring practices, including improper vetting, nepotism and cronyism, exorbitant salaries and more.

Brown was fired from his $110,000 position in the Department of Healthcare Finance after press reports of a checkered past that included brushes with the law. After his termination, the former mayoral candidate claimed Mayor Vincent Gray’s campaign paid him cash and promised him a job to verbally attack former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty during the 2010 mayoral contest. The claim spawned several investigations, including a probe by the FBI.

Last week, a District judge ordered Brown to testify before the D.C. Council after he was absent during his scheduled time to appear before the council and was subpoenaed by Cheh to appear before council members.

Whiting was also fired from her job after news reports disclosed a 2001 felony conviction of federal wire fraud. The community activist was employed by the Department of Parks and Recreation under the new administration with a $65,000 salary, which raised the eyebrows of those who worked longer than Whiting and made less money.

The two will now appear before the council on Monday at 12:30 p.m. in Room 412 of the Wilson Building. The hearing was initially scheduled for 1 p.m. The judge said the council can interrogate until 7 p.m.—as Brown requested a time limit so he could be with his family.

 

Erica Butler

AFRO Staff Writer