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The chairman of the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation’s board of directors as sent letter to Ward 1 Jim Graham asking him to keep his hands off the embattled organization.
Chairman Robert Bobb expressed “great consternation” over the possibility of Graham joining the CYITC’s board as a nonvoting advisory member. Bobb says Graham’s involvement could “potentially impact” the trust’s ability to raise private funds and strengthen its connections with the nonprofit world. (The full letter was first posted by the blog Susie’s Budget and Policy Corner.)
In case you are unaware, former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. used the CYITC to steal more than $350,000 in city funds. Since then, the CYITC has sought to distance itself from political influences.
“I believe that measures must be taken to prevent repeating the problems of the past by erecting a barrier between the trust and elected officials,” Bobb writes. “Appointing a councilmember to the board, even in a non-voting capacity, would not only represent a rejection of that idea but would essentially serve to institutionalize the very dynamic we are seeking to avoid.”
Bobb tells LL that he was “totally” surprised by Graham’s decision to seek appointment to the board. Graham didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Update: Graham has responded with a letter of his own. He says he’s needed on the board because Bobb has been “less than forthcoming in providing information” to the D.C. Council about the trust’s finances.
Much more to come, undoubtedly.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery