WASHINGTON (AP) â€” Mayor Vincent Gray often calls the District of Columbia “the envy of the nation” for its robust economy and fast-growing population.
But some say the local government he leads is a stain on the city’s progress because the nation’s capital continues to be plagued by corruption, pay-to-play politics and disengaged voters.
The latest bruise to the city’s reputation involves Gray, who is under federal investigation. Prosecutors say he knew about an illegal $668,000 slush fund that helped him get elected. He hasn’t been charged, but five people involved with his campaign have been convicted. Separately, three former members of the D.C. Council have pleaded guilty to felonies, including bribery and embezzlement.
Some believe corruption has been enabled in part because many residents don’t pay close attention to the local government.