WASHINGTON – One of the three members of a family subpoenaed to appear before the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics turned up late Friday morning after disappearing for a day following his failure to appear before the board.
Scott Bishop Sr., campign chief for field operations for Mayor Tony Williams, who is trying to get a spot on the D.C. Democratic primary ballot, arrived at city council offices with his lawyer, David Wilmot. Wilmot quickly asserted Bishop's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and refused to let his client answer any questions.
A day earlier, Bishop Sr., his son Scott Bishop Jr., and the younger Bishop's wife, Crystal Bishop, failed to honor subpoenas calling for their appearance before the board.
The Bishops were expected to testify Thursday about their roles in the collection of nominating signatures supporting Williams' bid for a second term. When they failed to appear at the hearing, board members voted to have their staff attorney take steps leading to their arrests. An order was filed with the D.C. Superior Court.
If the younger Bishops don't arrive by 5 pm, they could face arrest on contempt charges.
One witness who did answer questions is Williams campaign co-chairman Gwen Hemphill. She told the board they had to pay people $1 for each signature they collected because they couldn't find volunteers willing to circulate petitions.
Hemphill also said she never saw anyone faking signatures, but said looking at the petitions now, it's obvious some are written by the same person.
In six weeks, supporters collected more than 10,000 signatures. But many of those signatures are phony, and include names like Robin Hood, musician Billy Joel and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, none of whom live in the city.
If Williams does not have the 2,000 signatures needed to run for office, he may be forced to start a write-in campaign as an independent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.