The D.C. Council has just gaveled to order a hearing on parks contracts transferred by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in such a way as to evade council oversight.
The issue goes beyond the $82 million in parks spending already identified. According to figures obtained by LL, the Fenty administration has authorized $120.7 million in spending to be sent out to the D.C. Housing Authority. Those funds came from projects budgeted by both the parks department and the deputy mayor for planning and economic development. About $72 million of that has already been sent to DCHA.
The projects built through this method included not only the parks projects already identified, but rebuilds of Walker-Jones Education Center and the Deanwood Recreation Center totaling over $74 million. Both of those projects were managed by a team that included Banneker Ventures, the firm owned by developer Omar Karim, who has close ties to the mayor. And the scope of parks work has expanded to include as many as 26 projects.
LL will be following the hearing from the John A. Wilson Building, and will be Tweeting away!