At-Large D.C. Council Race Gets Personal

A candidate for one of two at-large seats on the D.C. Council was challenged over his 20-year-old arrest on a minor marijuana charge, but that was just one of the personal issues to emerge in this campaign.

Half a dozen candidates are seeking the council seat, including incumbent Council member Michael Brown.

Challenger David Grosso, a former council staffer, has been attacking Brown for a series of widely reported personal and private business lapses that Grosso says make Brown unfit for the council.

Brown fired back this week, mentioning a brief Washington Post online story that said Grosso had a drug arrest in his background and saying Grosso wasn't disclosing it. 

In an interview with News4, Grosso -- a lawyer -- said it's a 20-year-old minor arrest for marijuana.

“To start with, I’m not trying to hide it,” he said. “I actually voluntarily disclosed to college when I applied to college, to law school at Georgetown law – they all knew about it – and ultimately to the D.C. I think this is just a way for him to distract away from his own problems. He has serious problems that are current and show that he’s really not fit to be on the council.”

Brown said he doesn't care about the old arrest, just the ethics of not better disclosing it.

“I think the issue is if you’re going to run on this kind of transparency, good government, ethical mantra, then you need to be ethical and open with the voters,” Brown said. “He didn’t seem to do that. He didn’t mention it at the beginning of this campaign. He was trying to keep it hidden.”

As for his own business and financial issues, Brown said the voters will decide if they're relevant.

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