City Council member Hilda Mason (Statehood-At Large) warned University of the District of Columbia officials yesterday that they should not seek to attract future UDC presidents with "gold-plated benefits" similar to those she said they gave to former president Robert L. Green.
Mason, whose education committee was holding its fourth hearing on the fiscal management of UDC, issued her warning after new disclosures that Green, who resigned under pressure in August, had received about $33,000 in medical benefits that the unversity's board of trustees had not foreseen when he was hired in 1983.
It was also disclosed that the trustees approved Green's contract although none of them, except then-chairman Ronald H. Brown, had actually seen copies of it. The $74,900-a-year contract included two housekeepers, broad medical coverage and use of a university car.
UDC officials testified yesterday that Green also used a UDC employe as a full-time chauffeur. According to a copy of Green's contract obtained by The Washington Post, Green was to get a car but not a chauffeur. The employe, William DuBose, earned more than $33,000 during one year of Green's tenure, an amount that included about $11,000 in overtime payments, one official testified.
Council members also questioned university payments to New York-based lawyer Thomas Atkins, who represented Green in Minnesota earlier this year in a sexual harassment suit stemming from allegations by Minnesota state employes that Green harassed them while he was delivering a speech there.
Records obtained by The Post during the summer showed that UDC paid for Atkins' air fare even though he was representing Green on a personal matter. UDC officials said at the time the fare would be deducted from fees the university owed Atkins for legal work representing the UDC administration in labor negotiations with the faculty union during a yearlong salary dispute.
Atkins recently submitted a bill for almost $20,000, but interim UDC president Claude A. Ford testified yesterday that he could not find a contract for Atkins' legal services. UDC officials have not decided how to resolve that issue.
Green resigned under pressure Aug. 23 after disclosures by the D.C. auditor and news reports that he had used university funds for travel, consultants and personal items.
Council member Betty Ann Kane (D-At Large) questioned officials about their failure to see Green's contract "to make sure it had no open-ended time bombs, as the health care turned out to be." Mason told UDC trustees that she wants to see the contract of the next UDC president before it is signed.