Barry, Catania Exchange Vitriol During Valentine’s Day Retreat - NBC4 Washington
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Barry, Catania Exchange Vitriol During Valentine’s Day Retreat



    News 4's Tom Sherwood has the latest on a private D.C. council meeting. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012)

    Valentine's Day is supposed to be a day of love, but quite the opposite appeared to be the case for some D.C. Council members Tuesday.

    A closed-door meeting to discuss ethics and other issues erupted at one point in name-calling and cursing. Council Chairman Kwame Brown called for the retreat to discuss new ethics laws and council procedures and to help council members get along better.

    Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans has called peer relationships on this council the worst in his 20 years.

    Ward 7 Council member Yvette Alexander -- considered a friendly council member to most -- downplayed divisions, hugging Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh to demonstrate.

    Despite that good humor, officials confirmed that at-large Council member David Catania exchanged angry curses with Ward 8's Marion Barry over finances of a hospital in southeast Washington.

    The private retreat came as one council member already has resigned and pleaded guilty to felony corruption while Chairman Brown's 2008 council campaign is under federal criminal investigation, but the chairman said the council is trying to work together.

    “This is a training that we’re having to kind of go over our ethics law,” he said. “So this is training, personnel training, as it relates to the comprehensive ethics reform bill, making sure everyone is very clear. Clearly, Valentine’s is a day of love, and it’s a good time for us not only to show our love for ourselves but for our residents and prepare on how we’re going to move forward and move this city forward, so it’s a lovely day to do it.”