Four-time Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry has had a bumpy ride in his political career. In his third term, an FBI sting operation at the Vista Hotel produced video of him smoking crack cocaine in a hotel room. He served six months in prison then regained the office in 1994.
Barry, who now serves as a D.C. councilman (D-Ward 8), is currently being investigated by the city council for allegedly hiring his former girlfriend. That same girlfriend accused Barry of stalking her, which led to his arrest on July 4. Misdemeanor stalking charges have since been dropped by federal prosecutors.
In an interview with CNN’s “American Morning” Thursday, Barry defended himself against the various allegations of wrongdoing.
“In my 73 years, I've never been accused of stalking in my domestic relationships, never been accused of anything like that. And all of those things you called ‘trouble’ have turned out to be nonstarters. For instance, with the Vista – there were no convictions in the Vista. One charge – a misdemeanor, not crack cocaine. There’s been no proof of crack cocaine. And in terms of the park police arresting me illegally – the next day, the young lady who allegedly accused me of stalking said she never flagged the police down, never did anything to indicate stalking. It was dismissed. So I want the world to know that I have never ever been accused of this. And I've been vindicated by it. In terms of the investigation, city officials have said publicly that there's no law banning that.”
Barry claimed his detractors were behind the accusations and shifted focus to claims of his accomplishments.
“I’ve transformed Washington from a sleepy southern town to a metropolis. I've given summer jobs to everyone who wanted them. I moved contracting from 3% to 46% for African-Americans and Latinos. And a whole range of things I've done.”
When asked if he had any regrets, he replied “The FBI ought to regret spending $25 million on me at the Vista and didn't get a conviction. The park police ought to be regretful that they arrested me illegally. … I did nothing on July 4th that deserved arrest. … I am a victim of all of this, the park police.”