Mayor Vincent Gray: An overview of his first year
WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray begins his second year in office with a federal investigation of his 2010 campaign still looming and more than half of city residents saying they disapprove of his job performance.
Nonetheless, Gray remains optimistic about what he can achieve in the next three years of his term.
And he argues that if voters and the media look beyond the controversies, they will see his administration has done a good job.
Backers of the 69-year-old Democrat point to his work on school reform, reducing crime and stabilizing city finances. Others say he's failed to lay out a bold vision for the city.
"What we hope for is to be regarded in the way we should be, which is for what we've done," Gray said in a recent interview. "We were elected on the basis of certain commitments, and I think we've fulfilled those commitments, or are fulfilling them."
A Washington native, Gray ran a city department serving the homeless and at-risk youth before he was elected to the D.C. Council in 2004.
He became chairman two years later, and in 2010 tapped into black community dissatisfaction with then-Mayor Adrian Fenty to oust his fellow Democrat after one term. Gray took office pledging to unify the city after an election that exposed stark divides along racial and economic lines.
But he soon faced questions about the deliberate pace of his transition effort, and it was later revealed that he was paying inflated salaries to some of his top staff and that his administration had hired the adult children of several of Gray's top aides.
Then came the bizarre firing of Sulaimon Brown, a former mayoral candidate hired by the new administration as an auditor. The firing came a day after Gray had defended Brown as qualified for his $110,000-a-year job.
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