Gray Transition Trouble

Mayor-Elect confirms he's reviewing financial background of key transition figure

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Vincent Gray's transition team has hit a snag. (Published Thursday, Nov 4, 2010)

    Workers are just hours into setting up the Vince Gray transition offices on the fourth floor of the city's Reeves Center at 14th and U streets in Northwest.

    But controversy isn't waiting for the offices to open.

    The Gray transition team confirmed to NBC4 Thursday that Gray is now reviewing the financial background of Reuben Charles, the little-known businessman that Gray tapped as the executive director of the transition. The office also confirmed that Gray said Charles has not been offered a job in the Gray administration that takes over Jan. 2.

    So what's the fuss about? Charles, who's been in Washington only a few years, owes the Illinois state government about $236,000 in unpaid sales and use taxes, Washington City Paper's Loose Lips reported Wednesday. In September, Loose Lips reported that Charles has left a series of debts and judgements in St. Louis and Chicago.

    When NBC4 showed up at the transition offices unannounced Thursday, Charles declined comment but did offer to set up a meeting soon to discuss his background.

    On Wednesday at his transition announcement, Gray declined to let Charles answer any media questions despite reporters pressing to do so.

    Several city government sources say Gray needs to quickly clarify the questions around Reuben Charles or risk that some of the well-known members of the Gray transition team may reconsider serving.