District of Columbia

Former FBI Agent Named City’s New Inspector General

From Baltimore Sun 
May 30, 2013 

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has hired a former FBI agent and congressional investigator to become Baltimore’s new inspector general.

Baltimore City Inspector General, Robert H. Pearre Jr.

Robert H. Pearre Jr., an FBI agent in the 1970s and 1980s, will begin June 17, officials said Thursday. He will earn $132,400 a year.

Pearre, 59, replaces former Inspector General David N. McClintock, who earned a reputation for thorough investigations and independence before leaving in February to become the chief internal investigator for Jefferson Parish, La.

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Exploring the Lived Experiences of Inspectors General

Project On Government Oversight Blog 
By: Dr. Matthew Harris, AIG Board Member 

Matthew Harris, an adjunct professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland University College, recently completed an in-depth dissertation titled Inspectors General: Exploring Lived Experiences, Impediments to Success, and Possibilities for Improvement. He spoke to Inspectors General (IGs) at both the state and federal level and got their thoughts on everything from budgetary limitations to federal vacancies to the misunderstood role of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Harris’s study examined the experiences of nine federal IGs and nine state or local IGs, some currently holding the position, others retired. He kept their names and personal information anonymous so the IGs could speak freely. Harris interviewed each IG about their on-the-job discoveries, difficulties, and recommendations for improving the role of all IGs.

Six IGs found that there is a lack of understanding of the role and responsibilities of the IG by the public and by their respective agencies, and that the misunderstanding was significant enough to affect their operations. A few IGs suggested education programs or a mandatory visit from a Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) representative to incoming agency heads. IGs found that having to explain the independence and proper role of the IG took time and effort away from other projects.

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D.C. Councilman asks Inspector General to Investigate D.C. Fire & EMS Accusations

From WJLA 
Washington, DC 
 
D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells is calling on the Inspector General’s office to conduct independent investigation into allegations that two D.C. Fire and EMS training academy instructors have been harassing female cadets.

 

In a letter dated Feb. 26, 2013, Wells asks the inspector general to investigate the allegations. He states that there is wide difference between what fire officials say and what’s being reported by the media.

The story, which was an exclusive ABC7 I-Team Investigation, discovered looming sex scandal in the D.C. Fire Department involving female trainees. Multiple sources told ABC7 that two female cadets recently accused two training academy instructors of sexual harassment.

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Natwar Gandhi Wanted to Control D.C. Audits to Protect Reputation, Ex-Employee Says

From the Washington Post 
November 27, 2012 

A former internal-affairs chief for D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi testified this year that Gandhi tried to control the content and release of audits because he feared that they would “get out to the press and make him look bad,” according to a deposition recently obtained by The Washington Post.

D.C. Chief Financial Officer, Natwar M. Gandhi

The account by the former official, Robert Andary, echoes the position of his successor in the job, William J. DiVello, who abruptly resigned last month after he said Gandhi’s senior managers had refused to make public an updated version of an audit critical of the city’s tax office.

In testimony before the D.C. Council in October, Gandhi disputed DiVello’s statements, saying no audits were intentionally kept from the public.
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D.C. Lottery Contract is Subject of Federal Probe for Possible Corruption

From the Washington Post

Federal authorities are investigating possible corruption in the awarding of the District’s $228 million lottery contract and have interviewed several people with knowledge of the contentious process dating back more than four years.

Four people told The Washington Post that they had spoken with investigators from the FBI, the U.S. attorney’s office or both. Two of the four said they were asked to possibly testify before a grand jury now empaneled in the District.

Those interviewed include Kenneth V. Cummins, a private investigator in the District, and Eric W. Payne, who was fired as contracting director by the D.C. chief financial officer and is suing his former employer for wrongful termination and defamation.

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NYC Councilman Calls for Creation of Inspector General’s Office to Oversee Police Department

From the  Washington Post

NEW YORK — A New York City councilman is calling for the creation of an inspector general’s office to oversee the police department.

Two lawyers with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University called Monday for such an office in a New York Times opinion piece. Democratic City Councilman Brad Lander echoed them in an interview with news website Capital (http://bit.ly/AAB873 ) and says he’s working to formulate a proposal.

The opinion piece cited a movie shown to police trainees that critics say paints Muslims negatively. It also noted an Associated Press investigation that uncovered police surveillance of Muslims.

Read the article here,  Washington Post


IG: D.C. Lottery Partner Misrepresented Experience

From  Washington Times

The local half of a joint venture that runs the D.C. Lottery misrepresented its business activities during its bid for a stake in the $38 million contract, according to a report by the D.C. inspector general.

The findings mirror conclusions in a report by The Washington Times that showed Veterans Services Corp. boasted on its website of general contracting experience from federal jobs it did not perform for government clients who had never heard of the company.

“OIG investigators reviewed The Washington Times articles alleging that VSC had misrepresented its previous work experience on its website,” the report by Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby says in reference to the contracting jobs. “The [chief operations officer] acknowledged that VSC, which did not exist during the time periods of these construction projects, did not work on them.”

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Smithsonian Names Former Prosecutor as Inspector General as Auditor Who Revealed Abuses Leaves

From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — A federal inspector and former prosecutor has been appointed inspector general at the Smithsonian Institution following the departure of a former chief auditor who uncovered past abuses in executive spending at the museum complex.

The Smithsonian announced Wednesday that Scott Dahl will take over as inspector general Jan. 15. The 49-year-old is currently deputy inspector general at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Smithsonian Inspector General, Scott Dahl

 

Since 2003, Dahl has served in various federal inspector general offices. Previously, he was a corruption prosecutor and trial attorney in the Justice Department.

Read the article here:  Washington Post


Inspector General: Whistleblower Fired for Reporting Controversial Metro Hiring

From WJLA

In the scathing inspector general report released last year but revealed today by the Washington Times, Metro officials hired a near bankrupt friend of a Metro official for a six figure salary.

Fares keep going up and the list of needed improvements is long.

But even in the midst of major financial troubles, Metro hired San Francisco-based consultant Marc Caposino, a friend of former Metro assistant general manager Sara Wilson.

Read the article here:  WJLA


D.C. Council Rushes To Pass Ethics Reform

From WAMU

The D.C. Council’s push to reform the city government’s ethics laws is moving forward, but that didn’t stop the city’s attorney general from delivering some sharp words to council members at a hearing yesterday.

Attorney General Irv Nathan told the council that while he supports the proposed overhaul measure, when it comes to ethics reform, legislation is not enough.

“Not only do elected officials have to comport themselves in an exemplary fashion, but they cannot appear to tolerate questionable conduct by their peers,” said Nathan. The council’s reaction to the recent scandal involving council member Harry Thomas Jr. is one example, he added.

Read the article here:  WAMU