Editorial: Resign already, Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo
In recent weeks, we’ve been examining the state of the Council of the District of Columbia, the Council of the District of Columbia City and Regional Planning Commission, and the Council of the District of Columbia Public Service Commission. We’ve also discussed our Councilmember elections. In this editorial, we’re going to talk about resignations.
A few weeks ago, the Council President – the city’s chief administrative officer, who serves as Chief Administrative Officer with the full authority of the Mayor – decided he’d rather resign than face criminal charges for a serious misdeed. He was arrested and later indicted. The charges were dropped several months later. Despite this, the Council President, with a lot of help from Mayor Muriel Bowser, has been putting in his papers. He’s now stepping down. As he has done for Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León, he is resigning from a position with the city government – not just a position, but an office itself – for his own reasons, but not as a result of an indictment or a dismissal.
When the city government begins to wind down, a lot of high-profile people leave to pursue their dreams of independence. That’s true for the city manager, the public advocate, and the treasurer. Those are, of course, important offices. But in the end, they all want to leave the city government, and are willing to leave it in the most orderly way possible.
Mayor Muriel Bowser has been very clear about her desire to retire. And not only does she want to retire, but she wants to do it before the end of her term on January 2017.
Like the Council President, she has been put in charge of planning for the transition of municipal government to what is expected to be a federal government agency. And as with the Council President, she wants the transition to be done in the least disruptive way possible.
Mayor Bowser has done the same thing with Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo. Cedillo and de León have both been indicted for serious misdeeds – Cedillo for lying about receiving donations from