12/29/2011 01:16 pm ET Updated Dec 29, 2011

D.C. GOP: Marion Barry Used Council Office Inappropriately

WASHINGTON -- The District of Columbia's Republican Party is accusing former Mayor Marion Barry (D), who represents Ward 8 on the D.C. Council, of using public resources to attack a campaign challenger.

On Wednesday, Barry's council office sent out a press release attacking Natalie Williams, a former Barry spokeswoman who is hoping to unseat her former boss in next year's Democratic primary.

"Mr. Barry's use of Council resources to attack an opponent in the Democratic Primary is unethical, inexcusable & should not be tolerated by the Council," said Bob Kabel, who chairs the D.C. Republican Party.

"The Council's recent effort to bring about ethics reform will face its first test due to Mr. Barry's actions. Chairman [Kwame] Brown needs to speak up if he intends to lead his colleagues on the Council," Kabel continued.

As Washington City Paper pointed out on Wednesday, the press release attacking Williams was sent "from a staffer's publicly funded council email address."

In September, Barry endorsed Williams in her unsuccessful bid to be president of the Ward 8 Democrats, saying at the time that she "brings a new freshness, new energy, new direction, new vision for this ward."

Barry, in his statement this week, said that "Natalie Williams just recently moved into the Ward and knows very little about it."



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