But documents indicate that Turnage was concerned that Campbell attempted to steer part of a pending contract to create a health-care exchange to Darryl Wiggins, a businessman who chairs the reelection campaign of D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4).
The federally funded health-care exchange, set to be put out for bid this summer, is part of the District’s compliance with the federal health-care overhaul signed by President Obama in 2010.
The dismissal demonstrates the growing sensitivity within city government over allegations of improper or unethical behavior after two council members pleaded guilty and resigned over wrongdoing during the past six months. A separate federal probe of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 2010 campaign continues.
“I have been told that it is widely known that Jennifer Campbell has been meeting with minority vendors in an effort to put together a team that would submit a bid as a prime for the insurance exchange network,” Turnage wrote Gray administration officials. “Moreover, there are allegedly persons shopping themselves to minority business owners stating that they have contacts in DHCF contracting office that will ensure a successful bid if they of course partner with the right persons.”
Turnage has asked the D.C. inspector general to investigate the matter.
In an interview, Campbell strongly denied that she was attempting to steer a contract and said she met with Wiggins only once — at a meeting arranged by Turnage.
Campbell also said she only learned about the reasons for her dismissal after they were first reported by Washington City Paper on Monday. Campbell said she suspects that she may be the victim of a politically motivated attack after she questioned a separate exchange contract that a potential bidder was attempting to obtain.
“I think the truth will come out,” Campbell said. “I am between being disturbed and being hurt. I would think when allegations are made by vendors who certainly have something to gain . . . I would at least be given due process, but I was not given due process.”
At issue, according to correspondence between Turnage and administration officials, is how various companies have jockeyed to potentially bid on the contract. The exchange, estimated to cost $70 million to set up, is designed to be a one-stop online portal where District residents can compare insurance options and then purchase one.