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Mayor charged with violating disclosure law

(Published June 14, 1999)

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams has been summoned to appear for a closed-door hearing June 16 before the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance to answer questions about why he did not report $42,000 he was paid last year by NationsBank and Arthur Andersen & Co. while he was running for mayor and after his election.

Williams has acknowledged that he was wrong in not reporting the income within 30 days of receiving it from the two city contractors, as is required by law. He was formally charged June 4 with violating the city’s financial disclosure laws for political candidates.

"It was wrong and stupid and stupid and wrong," he said in an interview. "I apologize."

He agreed that not reporting the income was "an ethical lapse," but maintains he did nothing wrong in accepting the payments for consulting services with the two firms. "It was perfectly legal activity," he said.

Williams said he will give the Office of Campaign Finance "whatever they want" in terms of information about his finances.

As the city’s chief financial officer, a position which he left to run for mayor, Williams authorized the awarding of 45 contracts valued at about $4 million to the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. Williams said he took the consulting jobs "to put bread on the table" for his family while he was running for office.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator