Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who leaves office Jan. 2, used his authority to reprogram $495,000 designated for adult job training to give to his departing staff in "separation pay," according to a one-paragraph Dec. 14 letter he sent to Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi.
The amount transferred skirted the $500,000 threshold that would have triggered approval by the D.C. Council.
On Tuesday, Council Chairman-elect Kwame R. Brown and council member Michael A. Brown sent Fenty a letter asking him to reverse the action.
"In the midst of our current jobs crisis, how can the Mayor begin to justify removing resources that are aimed directly at preparing District residents for sustainable employment," Michael Brown said in a statement. "During the recent budget discussions, the Council made extremely difficult decisions to cut a host of worthy programs and to make it a top priority to restore funds cut from Adult Training in the FY 2011 budget."
Fenty's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
David Umansky, a spokesman for Gandhi, said the CFO's office certified that the funds were available. Staff leaving after Dec. 17 will receive the severance pay, according to Fenty's letter.