Thursday, March 17, 2011;
The March 15 editorial "Never mind" predictably cherry-picked findings to play down special counsel Robert Trout's preliminary report to the D.C. Council special committee investigating Department of Parks and Recreation capital projects under then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.
The editorial noted that the report concluded there was no wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Fenty and that the choice of Banneker Ventures as part of a team to manage the projects was reasonable. But it left out other conclusions that painted a far less rosy picture and that may warrant further review from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
For example, the report found that the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development "was operating under an assumption that Banneker would end up with the project management contract." The report also concluded that some of the explanations for transferring funds from Parks and Recreation through the deputy mayor's office to the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA), or the selection of Banneker, "did not hold up under close scrutiny."
Also noteworthy is Mr. Trout's statement that he would "question the basis for the memorandum the Attorney General sent to DCHA on October 26 (2009)," stating that his Oct. 23, 2009, opinion was not retroactive, enabling the Banneker contract to remain in force. This "reversal" should be investigated by the American Bar Association to determine whether Attorney General Peter Nickles breached his duty to serve the District's best interests. The editorial's blatant omissions lead me to once again challenge the objectivity of The Post and its editorial board.
Harry Thomas Jr., Washington
The writer, a Democrat, represents Ward 5 on the D.C. Council.