Eleven employees of the D.C. Department of Human Resources - including an assistant director, the daughter of Washington Technical Institute President Cleveland Dennard, the wife of City Councilman Jerry Moore and two relatives of suspended DHR director Joseph P. Yeldell - may have been hired or promoted improperly according to a city report.
Also among the questionable hirings was that of Lawrence Hemphill, a close political supporter of Mayor Walter E. Washington. Hemphill was hired in 1972 as a GS-13 manpower development specialist. The report says that at the time of the appointment, Hemphill was qualified to hold only a GS-5 position.
The mayor's Office of Municipal Audit and Inspection, in its report released yesterday, said it found no evidence that Yeldell played a direct role in those personnel actions.
However, David Legge, the director of the audit office, recommended that all of the questionable actions be examined by the city's personnel office to determine if disciplinary action should be taken. Mayor Washington has accepted that recommendation.
Legge's report was the latest from a series of probes that began last year following published allegations of nepotism and cronyism in DHR hiring, plus leasing and contracting abuses in the huge agency.
Many of the allegations involved Yeldell, whom the mayor temporarily removed from the directorship Dec. 3. So far, none of seven reports disclosed has claimed hard evidence of wrongdoing by Yeldell.
Mayor Washington indicated yesterday that nothing he has seen in the reports would prevent him from reinstating Yeldell as DHR head. But the mayor is withholding final judgment pending completion of a final report by Legge in two weeks.
The report examined the hiring and promotion of 23 persons who had been named in newspaper reports or whose employment records has been requested by news organizations.
Of those 23, Legge found, eight were appointed to positions without the required advertising of a vacancy. In addition of Hemphill, the report said, those persons included Jacqueline C. Johnson, who was hired as a GS-15 human resources analysis officer in 1971, and is now assistant director for state agency affairs.
Also hired without necessary advertising, according to the report, were Yeldell's cousin, Frederick Senior, Eloise Turner, who is Senior's former wife, and Joseph Turner, Yeldell's former driver.
Limmie Morton, chief of the agency's office of inspection, Bennie Howard, a child care specialist, and Mary Cecilia Scott, a community relations specialist, were also hired to positions that were not advertised, the report says.
There was five instances, the report found, where persons who were either hired or promoted did not have sufficient material in their personnel files to justify their qualifications for the positions.
Hemphill was one of these, as was Joseph Turner. In Turner's case, the report said, an original resume he submitted for a driver's job in 1972 indicated he had no experience as a clerk. A year later, when his driver's job was eliminated and he applied for a job as a clerk, the report reads, Turner claimed three years' clerical experience from 1953 to 1956. This experience was never verified, the report reads, but Turner got the clerk's job.
Judy O. Donnell, the daughter of WTI president Dennard, was hired as a GS-11 program analyst on June 3, 1974. Legge's auditors concluded that at the time of her employment, Mrs. Donnell had only enough specialized experience to be a GS-7.
Legge said Ettyce Moore, Councilman Moore's wife, was hired as a GS-15 education specialist, even though there was no documentation in her personnel file showing she had the required specialized experience in educating mentally retarded and emotionally disturbed children. She was a doctoral candidate in education at the time she was hired.
Diane Thomas, Yeldell's niece, was promoted in November, 1974, from a GS-5 to a GS-7. Legge said yesterday there was no information to justify a two-grade promotion and not enough change in duties to justify a GS-7 level classification.
Among those persons in whose hiring Legge found no apparent irregularities was that of Leroy Washington, another close supporter of the mayor.
Legge recommended several steps be taken to improve hiring practices and personnel record keeping in DHR. The mayor accepted those recommendations as well.