December 18, 2010 at 6:38 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gray names 2 gays to gov’t posts

Eric Richardson

D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray announced on Friday that he is retaining gay television producer Eric Richardson, a Fenty administration appointee, as director of the city’s Office of Cable Television.

At a news conference at his mayoral transition team offices, Gray also announced he was naming gay attorney Ronald Collins as director of the city’s Office of Boards and Commissions, a post that Collins held during the administration of former Mayor Anthony Williams.

Richardson and Collins were among seven high-level appointments that Gray announced at the news conference. Others included the heads of the city’s Department of Public Works, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, and Office of Planning.

“I am absolutely delighted to appoint these seven District government employees,” Gray said. “Residents can rest assured they will work with my administration to bring new and innovative ideas, projects, programs and improvements to respond to the needs of those who live, work and do business in the District of Columbia.”

Gray said he expects to announce his appointee for the post of director of the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs next week.

Richardson had served as chair of the city’s Black Pride festival, an LGBT event, prior to Mayor Adrian Fenty’s decision to name him director of the Office of Cable Television in 2007.

“Richardson has helped to make OCT an award-winning government agency,” Gray said, noting that the office regulates all cable TV providers in the city and manages the city’s two municipal government TV stations — Channels 13 and 16.

Richardson also directs OCT’s production department, which produces “human interest, history, science, health, lifestyle, and news and public affairs programming,” Gray said.

During the past four years, Collins has served as assistant secretary of the D.C. City Council as a Gray appointee during Gray’s tenure as Council Chair.

He has served as a city government official for more than 20 years, working, among other places, as senior policy officer in the area of contracting and procurement in the Departments of Health, Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Human Services, and Libraries and Recreation, according to information released by Gray’s transition team.

Gray noted that many of the boards and commissions, which perform important city regulatory functions, currently have vacancies that need immediate attention.

“Mr. Collins’ extensive experience working for the District government, demonstrated involvement in community service, and his understanding of the important role that appointed commissioners play, make him well-qualified to assist me in seating the right people on city boards and commissions,” he said.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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