D.C. human resources officials are investigating whether the nominee to lead the District’s troubled juvenile justice agency tailored a key job posting to fit the background of someone he had known socially for 10 years.
The decision to reopen the case postponed a D.C. Council oversight committee’s vote scheduled for Thursday on Neil A. Stanley, who was tapped by Mayor Vincent C. Gray to lead the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS).
Council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Human Services, has voiced concern about claims that Mr. Stanley removed juvenile justice requirements from a job description for superintendent of the agency’s New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel.
Mr. Graham has said the editing between January and a reposting in March appeared to make way for Capt. Steven Baynes, who had a successful U.S. Coast Guard career but no discernible experience in juvenile justice.
Mr. Stanley testified that he knew Capt. Baynes “through friends” and saw him as a qualified person to bring true leadership to the troubled facility.
At a recent hearing, Mr. Stanley said job descriptions are updated routinely, but he would look into the matter.
Mr. Stanley’s chief of staff could not be reached Thursday for comment.
A memo circulated Thursday said, in part, “The investigation of the role, if any, of Acting Director Stanley is ongoing and is not complete” and that “results are expected next week.”
Mr. Graham noted that a full legislative session is scheduled for July 12, two days before the deadline for council approval of a nomination before it takes effect automatically.
“We’re OK,” Mr. Graham said.
Earlier Thursday, the American Federation of Government Employees unit that represents DYRS employees issued a statement opposing the nomination.
“AFGE is on the record in opposing the confirmation of Neil A. Stanley as Director of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services,” union officials said. “Primary among the reasons is that he lacks the required experience and qualifications in the field of juvenile justice to move this troubled Department forward.”
Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, openly opposed Mr. Stanley at a June 1 confirmation hearing — citing his lack of relevant experience — before stating the next day that the nomination was “still in play.”