- The Washington Times - Friday, December 14, 2001

The D.C. Office of the Inspector General is investigating the no-bid contracts that Fire Chief Ronnie Few awarded to Carl Holmes, the consultant who has been his friend for more than 20 years.
The inspector general began the investigation after The Washington Times reported Monday that Chief Few failed to disclose his ties to Mr. Holmes. The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance also is investigating Chief Few for failing the disclose his affiliation with Mr. Holmes.
Gloria Johnson, chief of staff for the Office of the Inspector General, said she could not divulge any information about the investigation.
"About the Few matter: As you know, we can't comment on anything regarding investigations," she said.
While the Office of Campaign Finance will focus on Chief Few's failure to disclose that he worked for Mr. Holmes as a volunteer instructor, the inspector general can look into contracting irregularities. The Times also found discrepancies in the contracts awarded to Mr. Holmes including invoices dated before requisitions were ordered.
City records show that Chief Few and Assistant Chief Gary Garland have approved sole-source contracts worth $23,500 for Carl Holmes & Associates since October 2000. Mr. Holmes worked 13 days for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, earning a daily fee of about $1,800.
Both chiefs were instructors for the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute, which was founded and run by Mr. Holmes.
Chief Few, who is paid $130,000 annually, and Chief Garland, who is paid $105,000 per year, said they did not know they were supposed to list their affiliation with Mr. Holmes on the financial-disclosure statements.
Chief Few said that he did not think he needed to list his affiliation with the consultant because he was not paid.
The city disclosure law requires that an affiliation and payments of more that $100 from city contractors be identified. Filing a false financial-disclosure statement can bring a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail, according to the D.C. Code.
Mr. Holmes, 75, is a retired Oklahoma City assistant fire chief who runs a consulting firm and the Holmes institute. Mr. Holmes, who identifies himself in his literature as a doctor but said he holds a honorary doctorate, has been a friend of Chief Few's for more than 20 years.
Chief Few said he hired Mr. Holmes without advertising for other consultants because he had worked with Mr. Holmes before and he was available.
Chief Few also said he was not aware that Mr. Holmes was criticized in a 1995 audit for helping to write a D.C. Fire Department promotional examination that was full of technical, grammatical and typographical errors. Mr. Holmes was paid $191,853 for his portion of the test.
Mr. Holmes said Chief Few and Chief Garland were unpaid instructors for the institute.
He said they were reimbursed for travel expenses, and provided lodging and meals during seminars held at Dillard University in New Orleans.
The institute is not affiliated with the university, but it leases space during the summer recess, the university's business manager said. Participants receive only continuing-education credits.

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