Jim Graham crashes Council Chair Mendelson's press event

D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham with reporters. Photo: Sam Ford/WJLA

D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham is fighting efforts to reprimand him, after he was tied to a misconduct investigation involving a lottery contract.

Graham crashed a press event by Council Chair Phil Mendelson, insisting he's done nothing wrong.

"Is this a violation without a personal financial interest, without a crime, without a law being broken?" Graham asks.

Minutes earlier Mendelson told reporters he's taking oversight of the ABC Board away from Graham and holding a vote Monday to reprimand him because Graham has "adversely harmed the public's confidence in the integrity of the District government."

When Graham was on both the city council and the Metro board, he allegedly told a developer he would support his bid for a lottery contract before the council, if the developer would withdraw his bid from a Metro station project.

"At the very worst it was some kind of horse trading." Graham says.

The ethics board and others have said it was a conflict of interest and Mendelson has rejected Graham's call for further inquiry.

"This has been investigated to death," Mendelson says.

Many of Graham's constituents have backed him and many have not.

Graham's colleague, Marion Barry, is opposing the reprimand.

"I've been a victim of lack of due process on this city council when they censured me, took my committee away," Barry says.