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D.C. Council reprimands Graham for lottery contract

Monday - 2/25/2013, 12:39pm  ET

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The D.C. Council has voted to reprimand Councilmember Jim Graham for his role in a lottery contract scandal. (WTOP File)

WASHINGTON - The D.C. Council has voted to reprimand Councilmember Jim Graham for his role in a lottery contract scandal and stripped him of his alcohol oversight authority.

The 13-member council voted 11-2 Monday on a resolution disapproving of Graham's conduct involving the contract. Graham and Councilmember Marion Barry voted against the resolution.

Multiple investigations have found that in 2008, Graham told a developer that he would support his bid for the lottery contract in exchange for the developer dropping out of a project around a Metro station. Graham served on the Metro board at the time. He disputes the findings.

A reprimand is the least serious action the council can take against a member. It must be approved by a simple majority and carries no punishment. Barry was censured in 2010, which is more serious.

Graham chose not to speak ahead of the vote, but afterward said he should not lose his oversight of alcohol regulation because of his good efforts over the years.

He cited accomplishments including taking a balanced approach to alcohol regulation, tackling alcohol sales to minors, noise restrictions and taking a tough stance on violence in bars.

He said he also played a role in extending bar hours.

Barry made an impassioned plea, asking council members not to vote for the reprimand, saying Graham did not get a chance at defending himself and called it a violation of the 14th amendment.

WTOP's Darci Marchese contributed to this report. Follow @DMarcheseWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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