The war of words between Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and the chairman of the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation’s board, Robert Bobb, is escalating with a new round of letters between the two men. In a letter sent yesterday, Bobb told Graham that he “should be ashamed” of making accusations that Bobb has been “less than forthcoming” in providing information about the trust’s finances.
“Your claim that you have asked that I testify before your committee and that I refused such a request is simply wrong,” Bobb writes. “I would encourage your to identify the specific instance when this has been the case or retract that comment.”
In a response he just emailed LL, Graham did not identify any instances where Bobb refused to testify in front of Graham’s committee. But he did provide several email exchanges highlighting problems he’s had getting information from the trust, particularly a copy of an audit done on the trust’s fiscal 2010 finances. In his letter sent yesterday, Bobb says he’s been working with CYITC staff to get the audit done and that it’s in its final stages.
The backstory: Graham, as head of the D.C. Council’s human services committee, has oversight of the trust. He’s looking to increase his say in trust affairs by becoming a non-voting member of the trust’s board, a request Council Chairman Phil Mendelson says he is granting. But the Gray administration, along with Bobb and some nonprofit advocates, don’t want Graham on the board. The trust is trying to rehabilitate its image after former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. stole more than $350,000 in city funds while using the CYITC as a pass-through. Part of those rehabilitative efforts include trying to draw a bright line between the trust and local politics, an effort that so far seems to be pretty unsuccessful.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery