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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - M. Gandhi
The District's chief financial officer said in a memorandum Tuesday what pretty much everyone familiar with the city already knew — that federal government expansion during the recession contributed to a population growth that buoyed the D.C. economy and continues to be a boon for its finances.
The possibility of manipulation of the 2009 D.C. Lottery contract is not the only corruption angle that has drawn the attention of government investigators.
A city lawmaker and frequent critic of D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi is calling for a closer look at how the District evaluates people who are hired to work at the Office of Tax and Revenue amid allegations an employee bilked the city for $300,000 in fraudulent tax returns.
Troubles mounted on disparate fronts for D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi on Tuesday with fresh accusations of employee-driven fraud in his office's tax division and an "informal inquiry" from the Securities and Exchange Commission compounding the scrutiny the city's purse-minder has endured for weeks.
The D.C. Council unanimously passed legislation Tuesday that requires the D.C. office of the chief financial officer to actively disclose its internal audits in the wake of scrutiny of the office's procedures and its ability to police itself.
A previously unexamined internal memo drafted by the Greek gambling firm that won the District of Columbia's $38 million-a-year lottery contract in 2008 and again after a rebid a year later offers an inside view of a toxic climate that prompted the vendor to spend more time worrying about local political machinations than about the lottery itself.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley last week wiped his hands clean of donations made to his 2010 campaign by businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson.
Building out space on city rooftops for work and play is a common-sense and potentially lucrative tweak to a century-old law that restricts the height of buildings in the District, D.C. officials and analysts told federal lawmakers Thursday.
Natwar M. Gandhi moved closer to another five-year term as the primary gatekeeper of the District's piggy bank on Friday.
Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, Natwar M. Gandhi is free at last. Mayor Vincent C. Gray finally severed the tether to Mr. Gandhi, the District's chief financial officer, on Friday, when he reappointed the self-proclaimed "realistically conservative" finance chief to another five-year term - and well he should have.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray formally transmitted his reappointment of the city's chief financial officer, Natwar M. Gandhi, to the D.C. Council on Friday, a move that had been widely anticipated, but is already facing criticism from some city lawmakers.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is poised to appoint the city's chief financial officer, Natwar M. Gandhi, to another five-year term as soon as Friday, according to multiple city hall sources familiar with the situation.
Perhaps sensing the window is closing for his reappointment amid widespread corruption, chaos and a leadership shuffle in the D.C. government, Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi reached out to business leaders this week in an apparent effort to lobby for his job.
The District of Columbia is "very much worried" about cuts on Capitol Hill that could eliminate millions of dollars in revenue and spending capacity in the city, a potentially austere task as the D.C. government simultaneously learns to wean itself off one-time stimulus money it became accustomed to in recent years.
Instead of patting himself on the back for doing what needed to be done — spending less money — D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is treating CFO Natwar M. Gandhi like a political hack.
Mr. Gandhi also said the younger, highly educated new residents spurred the emergence of the District as a hub for tech startup companies.
"As many District residents lost low-paying jobs, a surge in income tax revenue from an influx of higher income residents, arriving to fill high-skilled jobs on offer as the federal government expanded, more than offset the reduction in income tax revenue from the low-income job losses," Mr. Gandhi said in the two-page letter to the head of the city's planning department. "The new residents, with relatively high disposable income, also spent in District restaurants and its growing retail sector, boosting sales tax revenue, when sales tax revenue was falling almost everywhere else."