Why Was Leon Swain Fired?
In a news release, Gray officials said that "City Administrator Allen Y. Lewinformed Mr. Swain at close of business April 26 that he would not be reappointed and thanked him for his years of service to the Taxicab Commission and District government." Mayor Vince Gray appointed the commission's general counsel, Dena Reed, as an interim replacement while he looks for a permanent replacement.
Swain tells LL that Lew didn't give him a reason why he was being let go from his $117,000-a-year job, other than the usual boilerplate for awkward firings: “[He] just told me that the mayor was going in another direction.”
But Swain, whose undercover work for the feds a few years ago led to the arrests of 39 people in a massive bribery scheme, says he was given a warning a few months ago that he was not long for the D.C. government.
"This is all Marion Barry," Swain says. "He told me back in January that I was out."
Swain is being shown the door to make room for Novell Sullivan, who served in the same post during Barry's fourth term, according to what Swain says Barry told him.
Sullivan helped the Gray campaign mobilize support from the cab industry during the last election. From an Aug. 1 Post story:
When LL asked Barry about Swain's remarks, the former-mayor for life responded: "I'm not going to talk to you about that. Goodbye." Barry then hung up the phone.
Swain also tells LL that he never had a single conversation with the new mayor about the taxi industry. LL's got a question in to Gray's office about Sullivan's possible return to glory and will update as necessary.