Mayor Marion Barry yesterday released a stinging report accusing Jose Gutierrez, former head of the Department of Administrative Services who openly criticized the administration, of repeatedly violating or subverting District purchasing procedures to "steer lucrative, giveaway contracts" and leases to an acquaintance.
The report, drafted by mayoral legal counsel Herbert O. Reid Sr., cited instances in which Gutierrez allegedly negotiated two leases and a contract that provided favorable financial terms to Angel Roubin, a businessman and friend of Gutierrez.
Barry ordered the D.C. corporation counsel to take the necessary steps to terminate both lease agreements -- including the city's lease of space in an office building owned by a Roubin business entity at 1111 E St. NW, and a deal in which the city leases 92 acres at the Lorton Reformatory in Fairfax County to Roubin and Janeiro Inc. to operate a quarry. The mayor also has ordered his aides to cancel a subcontract with G&C Construction Corp. That firm, which is headed by Roubin, provides maintenance and repair work for District properties.
In a fourth case, unrelated to Roubin, the report criticizes Gutierrez for applying a "controversial procurement practice" in acquiring two Capitol Hill town houses for use by a unit of the D.C. police department.
The report contends that Gutierrez, once the highest ranking Hispanic in Barry's administration, was inept or insubordinate, engaged in "questionable conduct" and had ulterior motives in many of the decisions he made as the District's chief procurement officer.
"His conduct showed little concern for the public trust and confidence lodged in him . . . " the report stated. "The government interest was squandered, resulting in giveaways, waste and deception."
The report also concludes that there was no basis to allegations by Gutierrez that he was pressured by City Administrator Thomas Downs to award four major telecommunications contracts to the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co.
"The charge by Mr. Gutierrez that the contracting process was compromised by undue political influence, in the view of this report, was made as a smoke screen to cover his ineptitude and mishandling of the government's telephonic needs," the report stated.
Barry said he would refer the report to Vernon Gill, acting D.C. inspector general, for investigation into "possible fraud, malfeasance or violation of District and federal law."
Gutierrez was demoted March 25 from his cabinet-level post to a job in the D.C. planning office after he openly charged that Downs had pressured him in a number of cases to award contracts for political purposes. Later, Gutierrez and his lawyer said that Downs was acting at the behest of the mayor.
Yesterday, Gutierrez angrily dismissed the report as politically motivated and a reckless effort by Barry to destroy Gutierrez's reputation.
"I'm not going to allow shyster politicians . . . to drive me out of office, and I refuse to allow this man to drag my name through the mud," Gutierrez said. "We'll fight it in court. We'll go wherever we have to go to get a fair hearing. but I'm not quitting."
As for his relationship with Roubin, Gutierrez said: "There were no favors being done. Mr. Roubin produced, in my opinion, proposals that were fair and equitable."
Roubin, a Virginia based businessman, said yesterday that he hasn't seen the report and that "I don't know exactly what the mayor is talking about." He said that the partnership of his that owns the building at 1111 E St. is taking legal steps to enforce its leases with the District.
"I want to state that the leases in question are the result of hard good-faith bargaining by the city and our partnership," he said. " . . . As a businessman I find it unfortunate that what appeared to be personality and political conflicts beyond our control have adversely affected our business relationships with the city."