DC council member, former mayor accuses chair of discrimination, breaking the law

DC Councilmember Vince Gray has accused Chair Phil Mendelson of discrimination and breaking the law after Mendelson reassigned committee chairs earlier this year.

Former D.C. mayor and current council member Vince Gray says Meldelson is discriminating against Gray based on his medical status and age.

Mendelson reassigned committee chairs at the beginning of the year, removing Gray as Chair of the Health Committee and replacing him with Councilmember Christina Henderson.

Gray remains a member of the health committee and was appointed chair of a smaller committee overseeing hospital and health equity. He is currently 80 years old and suffered a stroke in 2021.

According to a statement Gray released on Friday, he filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing Mendelson of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as D.C. law.

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31:  Vince Gray shook hands with potential voters in the parking lot outside Giant near the Rhode Island Metro Station.  He hopes to win the April 1st Democratic Primary for Mayor. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

"Mendelson explicitly stated that Gray's health was the sole reason for the move," the statement says.

FOX 5 has asked Mendelson's office to confirm whether that's the case, but we have not yet heard back.

The complaint gets automatically filed with the DC Office of Human Rights that will review it along with the federal commission.


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Mendelson released this statement to FOX 5 on Friday:

"I have seen the press release but not the complaint. I believe there is no basis to the allegations. The Council strongly supports the Civil Rights Act and the District’s Human Rights Act. I’m sorry Mr. Gray feels either of those laws have been violated."

The health committee is scheduled to meet on Monday with Henderson as chair.