IN LL WEEKLY—-“Tech Support: Has the OCTO scandal tarnished the Fenty-Obama relationship? Plus: Mary Cheh tangles with mayoral aide at hearing over boilerplate answers.
Morning all. This guy just doesn’t get it. Or maybe he does, and he just likes being a jackass about it. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty still unapologetic about foreign travel secrecy, tells WTOP‘s Mark Segraves that “Dubai government” picked up tennis tab. And, asked about his future disclosure policies, Hizzoner said (as he essentially told LL last week), “I’m not going to tell you.” ALSO—-Watch Fenty maintain his evasions this morning on WRC-TV.
As LL reported yesterday: City moves to end contracts with three firms named in OCTO probe; 23 employees of those firms will be out of work, and four city employees are on leave pending investigation. In WaPo, David Nakamura and Nikita Stewart report that the personnel actions extend to the CFO’s office: “In addition to the actions in the technology office, one employee in the office of the chief financial officer was placed on leave and three technology consultants in that agency were fired, spokesman David Umansky said. The employee had worked with Acar in the technology office before joining the finance department, according to an affidavit filed by federal prosecutors last week.” Also NC8, WUSA-TV.
WHO IS IN CHARGE DOWN THERE?—-WaPo, LL are both told that former deputy Tommy Jones has been interim OCTO director since Vivek Kundra eased his way out Feb. 4. Funny, because OCTO employees were never told that.
THE TRUTH OUTS—-What did Kundra steal in 1996? Four dress shirts from J.C. Penney, worth $134.
SCOOP OF THE DAY—-DCist’s Martin Austermuhle spots a small FMLN flag in Jim Graham‘s VW bug. FMLN, of course, being the Salvadoran left-wing guerilla group turned legitimate political party. Go for the pictures; stay for the comments section.
“For days,” Jonetta Rose Barras writes, “I’ve tried to figure out why so many voters in the District remain loyal to the Democratic Party, when its leaders consistently and publicly disrespect them.” What prompts this soul-search? Vouchers: “Democrats are more concerned about maintaining favor with their union allies. So, adults and politics take precedence over children and their futures.”
Marc Fisher wanders into job centers across the region to see if these places are of any help at all. This is what he finds: “Across the river, at the District’s One-Stop Career Center on Franklin Street NE, eight people are on the computers. Two are on Yahoo! Games, three are checking e-mail, one is writing a letter to an employer, one is reading the news from Nigeria, and one is deep into March Madness. Twenty-six other people sit in chairs, waiting.”
D.C. is the last jurisdiction in the country without a “safe haven” law allowing mothers of newborns to surrender their child without fear of prosecution, Michael Neibauer reports in Examiner, and David Catania and Tommy Wells want to change that. “Catania offered a recent example: An 18-year-old gave birth Jan. 30 at United Medical Center in Southeast and was quickly discharged, he said. Four hours later she returned, with a toddler in tow, and left the newborn in the hospital’s care with diapers and formula. She was arrested days later after an aggressive pursuit by police and prosecutors. ‘This is not an acceptable strategy when an individual is not able to assume responsibility for a child,’ Catania said.”
Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee appear together at Amidon-Bowen ES in Southwest. WaTimes: “Mr. Duncan was asked about his family, how old his two children are, how tall he is and whether he ever golfed, bowled or played baseball, football, tennis or basketball.”
At yesterday’s hearing on the Fenty crime bill, D.C. Republican Committee ED Paul Craney testified in favor of the legislation, while the ACLU testified against it. WaTimes finds this ironic. Also testifying at the hearing: Cathy Lanier, Jeffrey Taylor, Peter Nickles, and 43 others. Also WRC-TV.
7D commander tells officers to knock it off with the OT, Bill Myers reports in Examiner: “[Y]ou should not be attempting to make late arrest solely to make overtime,” Joel Maupin wrote in an e-mail. Said Maupin to Myers, “We’re always concerned about overtime. Isn’t your organization concerned about overtime?”
Fenty, along with new DOES director Joseph Walsh, teed up this year’s new-and-improved summer-jobs program yesterday at Ballou (after arriving 45 minutes late for the afternoon presser, pissing off all the TV reporters). LL’s take is linked above; Stewart writes in WaPo, “In an interview, Walsh said his agency is focused on avoiding the missteps that led the program to spend more than $55 million last year. He said that he did not have an exact budget yet for this year but that salaries will be capped at $33 million for an anticipated 22,000 participants.” Also NC8, WTTG-TV.
WaPo ed board gives a hearty pat on the back to the “Cooperating Witness,” the OCTO employee who went to the FBI to bring Yusuf Acar‘s alleged corruption scheme down in months rather than in years. “[E]ven though recent reports of a new government swindle are disturbing, it is cheering that it was a D.C. employee who helped foil the alleged scheme. It…should restore some badly needed trust in government.” Tom Sherwood also has kind words for the guy (in his off-line Current column) but he calls him the “snitch”! (Of course, so did LL this week.)
Biz Journal: Nickles announces he’s suing car-title lender CashPoint for usury violations. “In the suit, Nickles alleges that CashPoint employed illegal tactics to collect payment when borrowers were unable to repay their loans. Those tactics allegedly included unauthorized repossession of a motor vehicle. ‘I will pursue this matter vigorously to ensure that CashPoint returns all ill-gotten gains to D.C. consumers based upon these loans,’ Nickles said in the release.”
Remember yesterday how WaPo reported that DCPS enrollment is down? Well, naturally, charter enrollment is up. And charter advocates are crowing in Examiner: “Robert Cane, executive director of D.C.-based Friends of Choice in Urban Schools, praised the trend and cited it as evidence for charter expansion. ‘Charters’ 36 percent share of public school students underestimates their popularity among parents as thousands of children enrolled in city-run schools are on waiting lists trying to get into charters,’ Cane said.”
Number of homeless persons is up 3 percent, city reports. “The survey found about 3,900 single people and nearly 2,300 people in families, including children. Human Services Director Clarence Carter says the bad economy is playing a role in the increase in homelessness. But he says the high number of families could also be explained by an expansion of the city’s transitional housing program.” City tells WTOP‘s Mark Segraves that “Dubai government” picked up tennis tab. And, asked about his future disclosure policies, Hizzoner said (as he essentially told LL last week), “I’m not going to tell you.” ALSO—-Watch Fenty maintain his jackassery this morning on WRC-TV.”>opens new family shelter on Naylor Road.
GET YER SMARTTRIPS—-Metro opens sales office at Anacostia station.
Examiner on new Circulator routes.
Outstanding demographical news, at least for the District, via WaPo: “Outmigration” to the exurbs has essentially halted. “Although the District and other inner counties such as Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s continued to lose more U.S. residents than they attracted, the loss was substantially less than in previous years,” N.C. Aizenman writes.
Big names visiting DCPS today—-including Michelle Obama.
FUNDRAISING FUN—-Tonight Jack Evans helps retire Michael A. Brown‘s debt at Georgia Brown’s; and look who’s getting an early start: Phil Mendelson‘s first 2010 fundraiser is April 2, hosted by GLBT activist Bob Summersgill.
In themail, Gary Imhoff wants to know: Why can’t Adrian Fenty ever admit that he’s wrong? (Especially when Jim Grahm is so damn good at it?) And Dorothy Brizill was not impressed with the action plan following the HIV/AIDS reports.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-9:30 a.m.: Committee on Health event on 2008 HIV/AIDS epidemiology report, JAWB 120; 10 a.m.: Committee on Housing and Workforce Development agency performance oversight hearing on Department of Employment Services, JAWB 412; Committee of the Whole hearing on Bill 18-88 (“Closing of Public Alleys in Square 5872, S.O. 07-2225, Act of 2009”), Bill 18-94 (“Closing of Public Alleys in Square 4488, S.O. 07-7333, Act of 2009”), Bill 18-123 (“Kenilworth-Parkside Partial Street Closure and Building Restriction Line Elimination Act of 2009”), and Bill 18-142 (“Closing of Public Streets and Dedication and Designation of Land for Street Purposes in Squares 743, 744, 771, W-771, 802, 803, 826, 827, 853, 883, and 884 [S.O. 07-8801 and 07-8802] Act of 2009”), JAWB 500; 2 p.m.: Committee on Government Operations and the Environment meeting (scheduled), JAWB 120; 2:15 p.m.: Committee on Government Operations and the Environment roundtable on PR 18-050 (“Office of Employee Appeals Hillary Cairns Confirmation Resolution of 2009”), PR 18-051 (“Office of Employee Appeals Clarence Labor Confirmation Resolution of 2009”), and PR 18-154 (“Contract Appeals Board William Purcell Confirmation Resolution of 2009”), JAWB 120.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:45 a.m.: guest, Connecting with the Mayor, WRC-TV; 7:10 a.m.: guest, Fenty on Fox, WTTG-TV; 11 a.m.: remarks, annual State of the District address, Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center, 324 Kennedy St. NW.