He followed up in his constituent newsletter on Thursday, repeating his praise for Gandhi’s “leadership in helping to restore our credit rating.”
Evans acknowledged “management issues” and “an issue with regard to transparency in the OCFO.” But he predicted that, as a result of his hearing, “we will see more disclosures of the subjects and outcomes” of audits and more “community engagement.” End of story.
Conclusion: Nothing much is going to be changed by the council.
Another day, another missed opportunity to delve into the troubling lack of transparency in a city agency that should be the freest from deceit. Instead, that office is among the least accountable.
In his testimony Wednesday, DiVello charged that Gandhi’s top aides pressured him to “quarantine” critical audits by leaving them in draft status.
The CFO’s office does this to shield internal reports from Freedom of Information Act requests, as drafts are exempt from public disclosure. Gandhi told the committee that reports don’t linger in draft, and he provided evidence that most audit reports had been completed.
Perhaps because of the anticipated cry of “batter up,” the hearing did not examine the extent to which the “draft dodge” is used to hide information from the public.
In a telephone interview with me Thursday, Evans confirmed that he didn’t get into use of the draft stamp. He said he would do so in another hearing. No Metro investigator, he.
Sadly, the CFO’s office used the “draft” mode to block the public from seeing information about Graham reported in an internal investigation. It was the kind of information Metro used to nail him.
In the OCFO world, Gandhi is batter, pitcher and fielder, and he also gets to call the balls and strikes. What’s more, the council lets him do it.
Jim Graham should not be allowed to get away with his shameful behavior. Graham abused his office, brought discredit upon the council and embarrassed D.C. residents. He deserves the council’s censure.
U.S. Attorney Ron Machen should examine that report.
My Oct. 6 column, “D.C.’s most unfortunate distinction,” said that in March a federal grand jury subpoenaed records from the campaigns of several members of the D.C. Council. Vincent Orange’s campaign should not have been included among those listed, as it has not been subpoenaed. I also misspelled Vickey Wilcher’s first name.