- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 10, 2002

The District has hired a private company to investigate Inspector General Charles C. Maddox, the city's chief watchdog, who has been accused of living principally in Maryland and not the District, as ordinances require top city officials to do.
Brightline Compliance, a D.C. consulting firm, was engaged by the Office of Personnel on Jan. 23, at the request of the D.C. City Council. Among other things, the company's Web site states Brightline has the expertise to help its clients avoid lawsuits brought by former employees who believe they have been wrongfully fired. Brightline's founders used to work for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
"We hired them to gather some data on Maddox to do some additional leg work for us," said the city council's communications officer, Randi Blank.
Brightline's Web site says the company, begun by lawyers Andrew Foose and Michael Johnson, can help government bodies such as the District comply with anti-discrimination laws and keep their vulnerability to lawsuits to a minimum.
Mr. Maddox has been asked to resign for skirting the District's residency law, which requires all high-level D.C. government employees to live in the city full time. Since being hired by the District in 1999, Mr. Maddox has maintained his residency in Upper Marlboro and recently acknowledged he lives part-time in a Logan Circle apartment in the District with an adult son.
On Tuesday, the D.C. Council voted unanimously in a nonbinding resolution that Mr. Maddox should either resign or should be fired. This action came nearly three weeks after the council's Committee on Government Oversight held a hearing on the matter and came to the same conclusion.
Only Mayor Anthony A. Williams, a Democrat, has the ability to fire Mr. Maddox, something observers say is unlikely because of Mr. Maddox's investigation into charges of fund-raising improprieties by the mayor's office.
Mr. Foose, managing director of Brightline Compliance, called The Washington Times on Friday and asked a reporter to answer questions about Mr. Maddox, based on information The Times published in a story on Wednesday. The paper declined.
"I have a series of questions I would like to ask you, but do not want them to appear in the paper," Mr. Foose told the Times reporter. "I think I can find this information out on my own, but it would be much easier if you could provide it for me, which I think you can."
Mr. Foose was not given the opportunity to ask his questions.
Miss Blank said it is not unusual for the District to hire private companies to help with investigations that deal with areas where the District does not have extensive experience.
She declined to comment on any specifics regarding the company's investigation of Mr. Maddox.


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