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The District’s Office of the Inspector General hasn’t been doing much quality inspecting lately. In one of its latest reports, the inspector general discovers that a Department of Parks and Recreation employee was using too much city gas—-but can’t prove that the employee was actually stealing it. The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute. In another report, the inspector general continues its long-standing crusade against handicap placard abuse.
Why is the inspector general’s office wasting its time with penny-ante schemes? It can’t be for lack of opportunity—- U.S. Attorney Ron Machen and the District’s own attorney general have no trouble pursuing alleged waste and corruption in the District’s government. Meanwhile, when it does have a meaty issue to investigate, like the potential test-score cheating in D.C. public schools, it takes too long.
Here’s one way to improve the IG’s investigations: actually hire someone to run them. The assistant inspector general for investigation position has been empty for seven months, ever since then-assistant inspector general Stacie Pittell left to become the lead attorney at the D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability.
Inspector general Charles Willoughby tells LL over email that his office is working to fill the position, but wouldn’t put an estimate on when he would be done.