Marion Barry censured, case referred to the U.S. Attorney's office

Twenty years since he went to prison for drug possession, former D.C. mayor Marion Barry was punished again for breaking the law on Tuesday, this time for illegally steering city contracts to his friends and his girlfriend.

A D.C. City Council member representing Ward 8, Barry was censured by his fellow council members in a unanimous vote of 12-0, with Barry recusing himself from voting. The case was also referred to the U.S. Attorney's office for investigation into possible public corruption.

The vote followed a report presented last week by one of Washington's most respected lawyers, Robert Bennett, who was asked by the council to look into the allegations. Barry was also stripped of his committee assignments.

The corruption charges come as little surprise to people who have known Barry since the 1960's, when he participated in civil rights marches alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and since then, in his more than 30 years in city politics.

Despite having admitted to steering the contracts, Barry railed against his colleagues Tuesday, calling Bennett's report inaccurate.

Depending upon the outcome of the U.S. Attorney's investigation, Barry could face a second round in the slammer.

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