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The D.C. Council has few scruples when it comes to passing ceremonial resolutions. Recently that esteemed body passed the “Walter B. Ridley Retirement Recognition Resolution of 1996,” honoring the former director of the D.C. Department of Corrections for his 20 years of government service. For those who have forgotten, Ridley’s corrections department tenure was disastrous. Shortly after Mayor Marion Barry appointed Ridley to head the department in 1990, a female employee sued Ridley, alleging that he had denied her a promotion because she wouldn’t have sex with him. The city paid the woman $90,000 in an out-of-court settlement. Then, among other debacles that occurred on Ridley’s watch, in January 1995 female employees filed suit claiming that managers had failed to protect them from sexual assaults by, and coerced sex with, correctional officers. A jury awarded the women nearly $2 million in city money. Yet rather than giving Ridley the boot after the debacle, the city transferred him to the Youth Services Administration (YSA), where he became “acting special assistant to the administrator,” the ultimate do-nothing job in the city’s best-basted turkey farm. According to a YSA staffer, Ridley went on paid sick leave in October and didn’t work for months. He finally retired in June, rewarded with full pension and a pat on the back from the council.
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Faxing Foster? Name a job that would-be Ronald Reagan assassin John Hinckley should never have. Movie reviewer? Secret Service agent? Couples therapist? Good try, but how about fax machine operator? The man who poured an avalanche of love mail into Jodie Foster’s mailbox before realizing she’d never notice him unless he did something De Niroesque—like shoot the president—Hinckley is, in fact, the unofficial sender of official St. Elizabeths Hospital administration faxes, according to a hospital source who has spent time inside the hospital’s forensic ward. Dr. Thomas Polley, interim administrator at the hospital’s Forensic Inpatient Bureau, where Hinckley has been a resident for the past 15 years, refuses to confirm or deny Hinckley’s employment status, citing privacy issues. “His day-to-day activities are considered clinical information, which I cannot provide without his written consent,” says Polley.
Ce N’Est Pas Un Etat While prominent Republicans have embraced the District as a conservative policy lab—even backing a hefty tax break for D.C. residents—President Clinton has given the city a wide berth since Barry’s 1994 re-election. Now it seems Clinton has written the District off the campaign trail, too. On July 10, Clinton-Gore ’96 debuted a World Wide Web site where surfers can peruse “The Clinton/Gore Record in Your State.” Apparently, the president doesn’t have much of a record in D.C. While the site features something special for all 50 states, there’s no mention of the District. Meanwhile, the Dole ’96 web site includes D.C. in a similar state-by-state evaluation of Clinton’s tenure. Dole’s District web page includes only generic campaign rhetoric, but at least there’s something. Clinton-Gore campaign spokeswoman Lisa Davis explains that the District wasn’t left out—it’s just that, er, the web page is “evolving.” “It’s not like [the District] wasn’t included; the page just wasn’t totally complete. It’s a work in progress,” says Davis, adding that the District is “more difficult because, you know, it’s not a state.” Davis promises that techies will add D.C. to the site soon (although she won’t offer a date), but disgruntled Democrats can monitor the campaign’s progress at www.cg96.com.