Mayor Walter E. Washington yesterday asked the city administrator to investigate whether James W. Baldwin, director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights, violated city personnel regulations in connection with Baldwin's work towards a doctoral degree from a Florida university.
City Administrator Julian R. Dugas has been placed in charge of the investigation. It was Dugas who certified some of the job-related course assignments that Baldwin submitted for a degree in public administration, Baldwin said yesterday.
Dugas has asked Baldwin for a report on allegations that Baldwin improperly assigned city employees to prepare course assignments for Baldwin during work hours and that the human rights director also used other city resources improperly for personal matters.
The investigation came in response to a report in Sunday's Washington Star in which Baldwin acknowledge that extensive portions of one of his doctoral research papers were written by someoneelse. Baldwin told The Star he paid Richard B. Zamoff, a professor at Trinity College, to do the work, but did not credit Zamoff when Baldwin's homework assignments. Baldwin was awarded the degree last summer.
Dugas' role was to sign a "job-related analytic report" verifying that the research done by Baldwin was connected to his $39.60-per-year job and benefical to the city government, Baldwin said. "The work was definitely beneficial to the District government," said Baldwin. "Why not (use) government facilities?"
In addition to the alleged use of city employees, The Post had obtained documents showing that Baldwin used city stationery for a letter he sent to more than 50 other city workers. The letter invited them to participate in the Mova program, according to the documents.
Samuel Humes, director of graduate programs at Nova, said yesterday that if enough persons had signed up to take the course, Baldwin would have been hired as a consultant at $500 per month.
Humes said that the appointment of Baldwin to that position had now been postponed because of questions about the authorship of the degree materials submitted by Baldwin.
City officials said yesterday that it was up to the university to determine if Baldwin's work towards the degree was improper. However, the alleged use of city employees and stationery for private matters could violate regulations governing conflict of interest and improper supervision of employees, according to officials familair with city personnel rules.
The alleged use of city personnel and resources by Baldwin for personal matters is part of a pattern if similar actions, according to sources inside the department, which is supposed to enforce the city's antidiscrimination laws.
In addition to directing Jacoby to prepare homework assignments, sources said, Baldwin on city stationery late last year, a copy of which has been obtained by The Post, informed its readers that Baldwin had been appointed a "cluster director" for the Florida school. A "cluster" is a group of students in a noncampus area who jointly work towards degrees under the supervision of a director who is assisted by various guest lecturers.
Baldwin's letter told the readers about the scope, cost and nature of the degree program in public administration. "As an alimnus of the program. I have found the training invaluable in executing my administration functions," Baldwin wrote.
On Jan. 25 of this year, Baldwin sent a memo, also on city stationery, informing prospective participants in the program that its beginning would be delayed because not enough students had signed op for the program.
Baldwin refused to comment yesterday on his use of city stationery for Nova recruiting.
Humes said yesterday that ordinarily, invitations to participate in the program are sent on university letterheads. He did not know why Baldwin had chosen to use city stationery. "I'm sure if he did (ask), we would have given him some stationery," Humes said.
Although Baldwin referred to himself in the correspondence as a cluster director, no appointment had yet been made, Humes said, nor has Baldwin received any money from the school for the recruiting activities.
City Personnel Director George R. Harrod said yesterday that his office would conduct a separate probe if a complaint were filed. "But we're not going to indict Mr. Baldwin on the basis of something that's been reported in the papers," Harrod said.