- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2002

The city's inspector general D.C. resident or not will maintain his position, despite the D.C. Council's unanimous no-confidence vote, council member David A. Catania said yesterday in a meeting with editors and reporters at The Washington Times.
"The mayor can't touch him because of the charges being looked at in the investigation [of campaign-finance practices] and Mr. Maddox won't resign," said Mr. Catania, at-large Republican.
D.C. Inspector General Charles C. Maddox released a statement yesterday afternoon saying he will not quit and that the council's Tuesday vote was premature. He said he is cooperating with an investigation by the D.C. Office of Personnel regarding his residency status, adding that the council should have waited until the investigation was completed before voting.
"To ensure my right to due process, this fact-finding investigation must be completed first," Mr. Maddox said. "I believe I am in compliance with the District regulations governing residency."
Mr. Catania, one of only two Republicans on the council, said the inspector need not worry about his job. The council vote cannot remove him and Mayor Anthony A. Williams' hands are tied.
He said Mr. Maddox is investigating purported illegal fund-raising activities in the mayor's office, including "charges of tax evasion, fraud, and conspiracy to commit both."
But Mr. Catania said he has no confidence in the IG's handling of the investigation.
"The IG's office is leaking like a sieve to the mayor. I have no belief that this investigation is good," he said, raising the point that Mr. Maddox continues to have biweekly meetings with Mr. Williams.
The inspector general has been investigating the mayor's office for reputed campaign-finance improprieties since January 2001.
"I have to worry about the competence of an investigator who waits 11 months to interview the principal person involved at the head of the office," Mr. Catania said.
He and other council members have said the investigation is taking far too long. Mr. Maddox disagrees.
"It is entirely inappropriate for some of the members of the City Council to call for my resignation based on their dissatisfaction regarding the time frame for completing an ongoing investigation," Mr. Maddox said.
Mr. Williams has refused to comment on the probe into Mr. Maddox residency status or the investigation of the handling of campaign finances by the mayor's office.
Given the stalemate, Mr. Catania is moving forward to focus on his bid for re-election this year. He plans to present legislative initiatives targeting vocational education and apprenticeship programs for underserved D.C. youth, and preparing the District to better serve companies with new economic ideas.
"D.C. habitually underspends the dollars it receives for apprenticeship training, so I want to create a 15-member Apprenticeship Advisory Council," Mr. Catania said.
The council would centralize all training programs for constuction projects in the city, approve all training programs exceeding $250,000, and advocate for consumer rights in the process.
Mr. Catania also hopes to have an apprenticeship-program fund in which every construction company building in the District will participate "whether they are using government assistance or not."
Companies not using government assistance low-interest loans or tax-exempt or tax-deferred bonds who hire and train D.C. residents "will get a wage credit of 25 percent of the wages paid, up to $10,000 for each person trained and hired," he said. The apprentice must be at least 16 and must work and train for no fewer than 2,000 hours on site.
"We will have apprenticeship programs, vocational education and an entity that will advocate for you," he said.
He also plans to continue his fight for better health care and drug treatment for poor and indigent residents a population of the city he said the mayor seems to have forgotten.
"Emergency rooms in the city have been overloaded since D.C. General closed, and we will pay more money for less care with the mayor's privatized health care plan," Mr. Catania said.
"There was either a lack of knowledge, or dishonesty, when the D.C. General closing was being pushed forward."

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