Barry Makes Final Push For Ex-Offenders Bill

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File photo of former DC Mayor and current DC City Councilman Marion Barry. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

File photo of former DC Mayor and current DC City Councilman Marion Barry. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — D.C. Councilmember and former mayor Marion Barry is comparing Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to Southern segregationists of the 1960s as he makes a final push for a bill that would grant new legal protections to people with criminal records.

Barry wrote a letter to Mendelson Monday asking him to explain his position on the bill. He says Mendelson voted for a more strongly worded version in 2006.

The bill would extend employment discrimination protection to ex-offenders. It would ban potential employers from asking job applicants about their criminal histories before extending job offers.

Business owners oppose the measure, and Mendelson has said it would expose the district to costly litigation.

Barry says he’ll try to pass the measure at the council’s final legislative session Tuesday.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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