Councilmember Cheh’s Statement on Jim Graham

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Councilmember Mary M. Cheh released the following statement on the passage of the resolution to reprimand Councilmember Jim Graham for ethics violations:

“This is a somber moment and a sad one, of course, because there is no joy in what we were asked to do today. But, it is an obligation that falls to us and that we were and are duty-bound to discharge.

“Put very simply, we must keep and preserve that most delicate of commodities: public confidence. The public must trust us to do what is right and—in this case—act against using the influence of our office to obtain contracts for friends or deny them to enemies. Such actions are not business as usual or “just politics,” and, if they are, that has to stop. And we collectively have to stop it. Otherwise, we become complicit in it and add to the cynicism and disgust that some feel for their own government. That, to me, is the saddest part of all.

“We are charged with policing our ethics and upholding high standards. No one of us is perfect; we are all flawed. But, despite our flaws, these are standards that we can and must meet.

“Our great city is on the mend from recession—we have big dreams and aspirations for our people and for our children. But despite any number of great deeds and economic turnaround, we will continue to squander a different kind of capital—the capital of confidence; the capital of honorable service—until we make clear that we will act, in every way, according to the highest standards of ethics.”

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