Old Friends Were at Center of a Network of Public Contracts

May 21, 2013

Arl Williams and Clarence Brown became fast friends more than 25 years ago when they lived and worked in Durham, N.C.

They attended intimate neighborhood cookouts with their spouses, took weekend trips together and tolerated the occasional stuffy formal dinners that came with being professionals in a college town, according to people who know them.

Williams and Brown eventually moved north to the Washington area and got government jobs. Williams became vice president of human resources for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the agency that oversees Reagan National and Dulles International airports and the Dulles Toll Road. Brown headed the D.C. Office on Aging during the administration of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D).

While they held their high-level administrative positions, more than $1.5 million in public money flowed between the men, their families and their friends, according to interviews and records obtained by The Washington Post through agency officials and the Freedom of Information Act.

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