Home Of Interest Black Mayors Sidetracked, Accused and even Arrested for “Kickbacks, Scandal, Corruption”

Black Mayors Sidetracked, Accused and even Arrested for “Kickbacks, Scandal, Corruption”

Several Black Mayors have had their day in court over accusations of scandal, bribery, tax evasion, corruption and more… here is a list of those mayors (and not all of them) and what they were charged with…(click “Next” above or below to see the next segment)

Marion Berry

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Almost 25 years later after revisiting the arrest, one had to wonder if Barry really was set up.  He was a man early in his career who did not bite his tongue and he certainly made enemies because of it. In late 1989, federal officials had been investigating Barry on suspicion of illegal drug possession and use; that Fall, they were able to make cases against several of Barry’s associates for cocaine use, including Charles Lewis, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands who was implicated in a drug investigation involving Barry and a room at Washington’s Ramada Inn in December 1988.
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Barry captured on a surveillance camera smoking crack cocaine during a joint sting operation by the FBI and D.C. Police. On January 18, 1990, Barry was arrested with a former girlfriend, Hazel Diane “Rasheeda” Moore, in a sting operation at the Vista Hotel by the FBI and D.C. Police for crack cocaine use and possession.  Moore was an FBI informant when she invited Barry to the hotel room and insisted that he smoke freebase cocaine before they had sex, while agents in another room watched on camera, waiting for Barry to accept her offer. During the videotaped arrest, Barry says of Moore, “Bitch set me up…I shouldn’t have come up here…goddamn bitch.” (that was wrong on her part). Barry was charged with three felony counts of perjury, 10 counts of drug possession, and one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to possess cocaine, even though the cocaine belonged to the government informant. The criminal trial ended in August 1990 with a conviction for only one possession incident, which had occurred in November 1989, and an acquittal on another. The jury hung on the remaining charges. Six or seven jurors (of whom two were white and the rest black) believed that the evidence against Barry was overwhelming and that he had displayed “arrogance” during the trial. Against these, five black jurors were convinced that the prosecution had falsified evidence and testimony as part of a racist conspiracy against Barry, and even disputed factual findings that had not been contested in court. After scolding the jurors for not following his instructions, the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining charges. As a result of his arrest and the ensuing trial, Barry decided in June 1990 not to seek re-election as mayor.  Barry was sentenced to a six-month federal prison term in October 1990. After his arrest and through his trial, Barry continued as mayor. He even ran as an independent for an at-large seat on the council against 74-year-old incumbent Hilda Mason. Mason, a former ally who had helped Barry recuperate after the 1977 shooting, took the challenge personally, saying, “I do feel very disappointed in my grandson Marion Barry.” Mason was endorsed by a majority of the council members and by Jesse Jackson, who was running for shadow senator.

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