Council member Harry Thomas Jr. is issuing a subpoena for interim parks and recreation director Ximena Hartsock to testify Nov. 16 on the controversial construction contracts.
In dramatic fashion, Thomas called Hartsock's name several times. She was on the witness list for Thursday's hearing on the matter. He said "for unknown reasons," Hartsock decided not to appear. He then said she is "commanded to appear" later this month.
Earlier, D.C. Wire asked Mafara Hobson, spokeswoman for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, why Hartsock wasn't testifying. She answered in an e-mail, "Gragan is testifying," referring to chief procurement officer David Gragan.
Gragan was grilled for more than two hours. In the words of a few council members, he "parsed" his words when defending the city's procurement process, the agreement to route millions of city dollars to the D.C. Housing Authority to build recreational facilities and the contracts that went to firms with ties to the mayor.
Banneker Ventures, a firm owned by a friend of the mayor, won a $4.2 million contract to be the construction manager over a dozen or so projects through a "request for qualifications," or RFQ.
An RFQ is generally followed by an "request for proposals," a bidding process that requires a vendor to explain give a price and cost. That did not happen in the case of Bannker.
Gragan testified, "I would have done an RFP after an RFQ."
But he also said the solicitation appeared adequate to him.