D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray on Friday proposed extending the council's Wednesday deadline for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to submit $875 million in contracts that were entered into last year without approval by the legislative body.
Last month, the council unanimously approved emergency legislation to stop payment on the contracts at midnight Wednesday if they are not ratified by the council -- a bold action that was supposed to force the Fenty administration to send the contracts. The council scheduled a special Tuesday meeting to ratify the agreements a day before the cut-off time. Now, the proposed extension to Jan. 26 will be on the agenda.
In a letter Friday to Fenty, Gray, who could not reached immediately for comment, said he and the administration are "making progress" as a result of meetings with Attorney General Peter Nickles. But he said he cannot give the assurance Nickles wants to ratify the contracts en masse.
"Obviously, I cannot commit to approve contracts that I have not seen," he wrote. "Moreover, I cannot speak for my colleagues who will also vote on this emergency legislation."
"By close-of-business, January 26, 2010, we expect to receive: (1) copies of all of the contracts, (2) a consolidated emergency act to adopt the contracts, and (3) written confirmation from you, the City Administrator, or the Chief Procurement Officer that to the best of your knowledge all known retroactive contracts have been submitted to the Council," Gray wrote.
-- Nikita Stewart