Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Barry thinks he’s untouchable and, given the sad state of District governance, he might be.
Barry faces prison for tax failure

Federal prosecutors say D.C. Council member Marion Barry deserves to be "prosecuted and punished" and faces 12 to 18 months in prison for failing to file income-tax returns under federal sentencing guidelines.

In addition, Mr. Barry "has not filed his delinquent tax returns; nor has he submitted drafts of those returns," prosecutors yesterday said in a memo to U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson.

Mr. Barry, the former four-term D.C. mayor, pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor tax charges for failing to file federal and local returns on more than $500,000 in income from 1999 to 2004. He is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow in U.S. District Court in the District…

But in the memo to Judge Robinson, Assistant U.S. Attorneys James W. Cooper and Thomas E. Zeno said the federal "government is unable to abide by its promises regarding sentencing unless and until defendant Barry satisfies this obligation of the plea agreement."

The prosecutors noted that Mr. Barry had agreed to file all delinquent returns and arrange for payment of all taxes and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service, the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue and any other required tax authority.

They also pointed out that a pre-sentence investigation report in the case has calculated a sentencing guideline of 12 to 18 months in prison, based on the offense and Mr. Barry's criminal history. The Ward 8 Democrat served six months in prison after his arrest in 1990 following an FBI sting that caught the former mayor smoking crack cocaine.

In the memo, prosecutors say Mr. Barry, 69, tested positive for cocaine and marijuana use Nov. 17 and warn of "sanctions, such as revocation of release," if Mr. Barry tests positive again.

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