Jackson Says He’s Concerned About D.C. Mayor
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Civil rights leader Jesse L. Jackson says he is seeking to provide counseling to District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry Jr., who has been beset by questions over his personal and professional conduct.
Jackson said his concern over Barry is personal. He declined to defend or criticize Barry, who is involved in controversies surrounding his visit to the hotel room of a former city employee who police said was the subject of a drug investigation.
″I’m in no position to make a political evaluation of the current situation,″ Jackson was quoted in today’s editions of The Washington Post. ″My first consideration is his health and well-being.″
Jackson said he planned to visit with Barry during his stay here for the inauguration of President-elect Bush.
″I know the burden of being under attack. I have been there,″ Jackson said. ″People are hurt and their families are hurt.″
A poll commissioned by Washington station WUSA-TV found that Jackson would be the overwhelming choice of both black and white voters if he were to run for mayor in 1990. But Jackson, who has homes in Chicago and Washington, said he has no such plans.
The poll also found that while 58 percent of the city’s residents opposed a recall election, 44 percent would vote to oust Barry if the referendum were held. The survey of 506 registered voters Jan. 12-14 had an error rate of four percentage points.
Barry said Tuesday that he took a urine test earlier in the day as part of his annual physical. He has repeatedly denied ever using illegal drugs and said he never knowingly associated with drug dealers.
The results of Tuesday’s test were not immediately available.
The mayor said earlier this month that he has submitted to drug tests as part of his annual checkup, has been found drug-free and that the results have been made public. Barry’s press secretary and reporters could not recall any such new news release, however.
The Post reported, meanwhile, that a woman who pleaded guilty to four counts of selling cocaine accompanied Jules Lloyd, the legal counsel to the city personnel office, on a trip to the Virgin Islands last October as part of a joint personnel project between the D.C. and Virgin Islands governments.
April Herrell, a former nightclub dancer now living in a halfway house, confirmed she took the trip while awaiting sentencing.
Ms. Herrell, 25, and Lloyd stayed at a luxurious St. Thomas hotel, where the bill was paid by the Virgin Islands government, which since has objected to the spending by Lloyd and others on the project.
The former project director, Charles Lewis, is the man Barry met several times in the Washington hotel room just before Christmas.
The Barry-Lewis meetings and the personnel deal are the subjects of several federal, D.C., and Virgin Islands investigations.