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Attorney General Karl Racine resigned from nonprofit boards when he took office, but he didn’t stop continuing to help two of them. Two nonprofits whose boards Racine once served on received money in Office of the Attorney General’s settlement with D.C. Public Schools food provider Chartwells.
Last week, Racine announced that his office had settled with Chartwells for $19.4 million over whistleblower claims that its food was regularly late or spoiled. The settlement inspired two councilmembers to call for investigations of Chartwells’ continuing contract with DCPS.
The councilmembers aren’t alone. Muriel Bowser‘s office is reviewing the settlement, according to Bowser spokesman Michael Czin.
“Our lawyers are currently taking a close look at all parts of this settlement,” Czin writes in an email to LL. “Right now, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.”
The settlement worked out well for five nonprofit groups that will receive a combined $5 million from Chartwells as part of the agreement. $500,000 of that money will go to Everybody Wins! DC, a literacy nonprofit whose board Racine served on until his election. Another $150,000 went to the Abramson Scholarship Foundation, which also once had Racine on its board.
Racine spokesman Robert Marus says OAG came up with the list of organizations that would receive Chartwells money.
“They were groups he was familiar with,” Marus says.
Marus says there’s nothing inappropriate about Racine approving a settlement that benefits organizations whose boards he once worked on.
“There’s no conflict here,” Marus says.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery