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I’ve been asking the Department of Housing and Community Development about the shady guy who purchased the Peaceoholics’ three properties once the nonprofit’s fortunes turned, but it looks like the Post was on it: Debbie Cenziper and Nikita Stewart nailed the story today, showing a nest of connections between the buyer, Richard Hagler, and DHCD employees who have since either been fired or placed on leave. Knowing the story was coming, Councilmember Michael Brown called for an investigation into the matter over the weekend.
Stepping back a little, the question you’ve got to ask is: How many city employees use their position to keep up lucrative side hustles, or simply waste funds through sheer incompetence? Journalists and District officials have been gradually unearthing these kinds of affairs, from the Office of Risk Management to the Department of Employment Services. At what point will city government get clean enough that bad behavior becomes too risky to undertake?