- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
D.C. ANC members break the rules without redress
City has no power to police
Question of the Day
Thousands of dollars for materials, such as $15 cases of soda, were billed to the ANC and shipped from Maryland to various offices and apartments, some with no apparent connection to the commission.
After Mr. Shelton eventually turned in his key, that left only Ms. Staten, who is not part of the elected commission. The new chairwoman, Ms. James, told colleagues that no commissioner but herself could review finances there because of privacy rules at the Salvation Army, which provides drug-treatment services.
That was never true, said the center’s executive director, Mary Lynn Logsdon.
“She was so unbelievable,” Ms. Logsdon said. “Who knows what was going on back there?”
D.C. law says ANC officials must make documents available to the public upon request. But when they were requested at the front desk of the Salvation Army, Ms. James refused to come out of the office and called the police.
“I don’t give a damn about the D.C. code,” she said.
The D.C. auditor’s office, which is responsible for reviewing ANC finances,ANC Executive Director Gottlieb Simon’s office and the attorney general’s office all said Ms. James must turn over documents to the broader commission and to the public. Yet when told she had refused, the oversight agencies said they had no ability to enforce the law.
“We don’t have any enforcement mechanisms,” Deputy Auditor Lawrence Perry said. “Mr. Simon’s office is responsible for administration.”
“My office doesn’t maintain records from the commissions. The ANC itself has copies,” Mr. Simon said. “The auditor’s office is responsible for oversight.”
The 37 commissions in the city each have four to 12 elected members.
Repeatedly, when constituents brought credible complaints about regulations that were ignored or flouted, the chairman refused to provide easily obtainable documentation, and the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions declined to obtain them.
Reports that lacked so much as a signature were stamped by the auditor, and many reports submitted to the auditor are missing basic pieces of information. Multiple ANCs routinely failed to deduct taxes.
Commissioner India Henderson, who took over for Ms. Brown-Daniels as treasurer for a stint in 2010, said she documented repeated concerns to Mr. Simon; Lynard Barnum, then the auditor office’s chief ANC specialist who resigned weeks ago; and D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat, who was then head of the committee with jurisdiction over ANCs. But nothing was ever done.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Luke Rosiak is a projects reporter on The Washington Times’ investigative team. He formerly covered lobbying and campaign finance for two watchdog groups as well as transportation for The Washington Post. Luke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Md. couple indicted in scheme to cheat SBA on minority contracts
- As federal agencies trim fat, contracts feed billions in profits to 59 companies
- Conflict of interest in $4 billion government minority program
- $4 billion program for disadvantaged businesses lacks oversight
- Maryland's minority-contracting program gets failing grade on 'graduation'
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- McCLAUGHRY: Finish off the "Islamic State" quickly and cheaply
- PRUDEN: When the hangman botches the job
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world