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D.C. fires second employee at DOES

- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2011

A second employee from the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) was fired Thursday in connection with an ongoing investigation of suspected fraud in that department's office of unemployment compensation, officials said.

All matters related to the probe have been referred to the D.C. Office of the Inspector General "as part of our ongoing effort to review all programs and operational aspects of DOES to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse," said spokesman David Thompson.

"DOES and the Gray administration are fully committed to ensuring fair and ethical practices," he added.

The department did not release the name of the employee or detail the cause for termination, but sources familiar with the matter said an employee failed to notify his superiors of outside concerns that pointed to possible fraud inside the unemployment compensation office.

The termination was the second one this week, on the heels of the firing of politically connected Ward 8 activist and consultant Gaby Fraser, who campaigned heavily for Mayor Vincent C. Gray and had recently been named "acting associate director" of the unemployment compensation office, earning more than $97,000 a year.

Ms. Fraser's LinkedIn business profile lists her as a "Special Assistant," even though the Gray administration has insisted that her recent move from claims officer to "acting associate director" was not a promotion. The administration also denied that she received additional compensation after campaigning for Mr. Gray, which officials insist was done on an informal basis.

The Washington Times reported Monday that Ms. Fraser had been placed on administrative leave. By Tuesday, she was fired.

Ms. Fraser ran for advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 8 in 2006 and was a campaign consultant for unsuccessful 2010 mayoral candidate Leo Alexander, among other candidates for public office. She has received more than $40,000 in consulting fees from a variety of candidates, city records show.

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