D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is involved in a new controversy. City records show his family and staff have received thousands of dollars worth of sky suite tickets at the Verizon Center and other places free of charge.
The tickets to Various concerts and sporting events are tickets many people might want.
Gray’s children – Carlos, who has long worked for the city, and Jonice, Gray’s designated first lady since his wife is deceased – have enjoyed the free tickets that go with being mayor. As first reported by WTOP, staffers also have enjoyed the free tickets, though the majority of them appear to have gone to constituents, but 24 tickets to a Lady Gaga concert at Verizon were swept up by a former Gray chief of staff who resigned in the personnel scandal early in Gray's term.
The mayor’s office said Gray has only used a fraction of the tickets personally. There’s nothing illegal about who’s using the tickets, which are a perk of the office that Gray’s children share with others, the mayor’s office said.
The ticket disclosure, in some cases tickets go to police officers and other community groups, reminded some of former Mayor Adrian Fenty making news when he refused to share baseball tickets with the D.C. Council members until it became a city joke.
Veteran community activist and former school board member Sandra Butler Truesdale said fairness is the issue.
“I think everything should be done fairly, and if there was a comment about Adrian Fenty doing something wrong or doing something that we didn’t particularly care for, then I think that Vincent should know better than that.”
The mayor's office said people who get the tickets still have to buy their own food and beverages.