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Fairfax official apologizes for insulting Prince George's County

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Local,Maryland,Virginia,Taylor Holland,Montgomery County,Fairfax County

One week after taking a swipe at Prince George's County and its bid to lure the FBI's new headquarters, Fairfax County's Gerald Gordon is trying to make peace.

Gordon, the president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, has been under fire from the neighboring jurisdiction after taking what Prince George's officials see as a cheap shot at the Maryland county's history of corruption.

"There is some logic for the FBI going to Prince George's because that's where they'll find the people they have to pick up," Gordon said, according to The Washington Business Journal.

News of his comment quickly spread to Prince George's, where officials told The Washington Business Journal that Gordon's comments were a "disservice not only to the honest, hardworking people of Prince George's County, but to the people of Fairfax County as well."

Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, has already weighed in, apologizing for Gordon's comment.

Gordon on Thursday issued a statement expressing his "regret" for his comment and noting that he values economic development for the region as a whole.

"I recently participated in a panel discussion and responded to an inquiry about the FBI relocation process," Gordon said. "In doing so, I made several comments about the positive merits of a Fairfax County site. Unfortunately, I also mentioned some negative aspects of a neighboring jurisdiction. I regret having made that comment as it has been received by some as being mean-spirited, which was not at all my intention."

Gordon's comments may just be the start of what's sure to be a fierce competition between Maryland and Virginia in the fight to land the FBI's new, consolidated headquarters.

Congressional members from both states testified to a House subcommittee Wednesday, making the case for moving the federal agency and its 12,000 jobs to sites in their respective states, and while no neither side was critical of the other, leaders each touted their own locations as "ideal sites" for the FBI.

The General Services Administration announced this month that it had received 35 responses from local governments and private developers interested in the move. GSA administrators said they needed time to "digest the responses," but hoped to solicit formal bids soon.

tholland@washingtonexaminer.com

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