Is Nat Gandhi minding the store?

October 9, 2012

Natwar Gandhi. All the CFO’s men will appear before the D.C. Council Wednesday. (Sarah L. Voisin/TWP)

After Harriette Walters was caught stealing nearly $50 million from the D.C. tax office, Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi saved his job by cleaning house and pledging to fix the oversight lapses that allowed the massive fraud to proceed. But “[t]ime and time again” in the five years since, the Post’s Debbie Cenziper reports, “auditors have warned Gandhi about weak controls and oversight in the tax office.” Many of those audits were left in draft form until recently or otherwise not circulated to the public. But it wasn’t just internal auditors raising concerns. The firm KPMG, hired to do the city’s yearly financial audit, this year warned that the city’s computer system allowed employees to make “improper adjustments” to tax records. Meanwhile, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) tells the Examiner he remains a Gandhi fan. A D.C. Council hearing on tax office issues is set for tomorrow (during the Nats game).

In other news:

Petula Dvorak remembers Bill Line, longtime National Park Service spokesman who committed suicide Sunday: “Bill loved Washington, but Washington didn’t always love him back.” (Post)

Michelle Rhee on DCPS: “I think the reforms have definitely continued. … I do think there’s a difference though. Mayor Fenty and I spoke everyday — I think when you have that dynamic, it creates a different sense of urgency in the city overall.” (WAMU-FM)

The city is asking parents to pay $1,000 a month in rent for Lafayette Elementary Spanish classes (D.C. Schools Insider)

Quintuple shooting has Truxton Circle neighbors on edge (Post)

Vincent Orange: “[Some] people have a sense of entitlement. … This should not be a long-lasting job.” (Examiner)

Kwame Brown is in court this morning (Examiner, AP)

National stolen-cell-phone blacklist, due Oct. 31, “can’t come fast enough,” Cathy Lanier says (WaTimes)

There probably won’t be a Pepco strike (Post, Examiner)

The Airports Authority posted a blueprint of Reagan National Airport electronic security system on its Web site (Military & Aerospace Electronics)

To meet the Food Stamp Challenge, Mary Cheh gives up raisin bread and blueberries (WTTG-TV, WJLA-TV)

Metro “jihad” ads get Post-It-noted in Takoma (Examiner)

DDOT needs to buy another $150,000 worth of red-top meters (EXaminer)

Neighbors say new Hill East solicitation is “step in the right direction” (Examiner)

Food truck owners have a whole bunch of questions about these “mobile roadway vending” zones (All We Can Eat)

Education and health care, not real estate, drive D.C.’s economic growth these days (WBJ)

“The Gray administration seems to want to get out of the affordable housing business.” (Poverty & Policy)

D.C.’s family court is 10 years old (NLJ)

Home-schooling is school choice, too (Post)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · October 8, 2012