Mendelson To Lead Scandal-Plagued D.C. Council As New Chairman

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Former DC Councilmember Harry Thomas, former mayor and Councilmember Marion Barry, mayor Vincent Gray and former Council Chairman Kwame Brown.  (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former DC Councilmember Harry Thomas, former mayor and Councilmember Marion Barry, mayor Vincent Gray and former Council Chairman Kwame Brown. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) - The scandal-plagued D.C. Council has selected veteran legislator Phil Mendelson as its interim chairman.

There was a lot of arguing in the Wilson Building over who is most appropriate to fill the role, as well as the role of pro tempore.

Councilman Vincent Orange and Marion Barry objected to the nomination of Mendelson as interim chairman with Michael Brown as the new Chairman Pro Tempore.

Instead Orange and Barry proposed that Mendelson be Chairman of the D.C. Council with Orange himself acting as pro tempore.

Mendelson replaces Kwame Brown, who pleaded guilty to bank fraud last week and resigned. Brown was the second councilmember to leave office in disgrace this year.

The council voted unanimously Wednesday to install Mendelson as interim chairman. He’ll serve as the district’s second-highest local elected official until a special election in November. The winner of that election will serve the remainder of Brown’s term, which runs through 2014, and Mendelson intends to run.

If Mayor Vincent Gray were to leave office, Mendelson would become the first white mayor in the city’s history.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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