Charles E. Dickerson, who was paid as a full-time consultant to the D.C. Public Health Commission for seven months while he lived and worked full time in Minnesota, has submitted a new "final" consultant's report to the District government to justify the $38,788 he received from the city.
David Rivers, director of the D.C. Department of Human Services, said that the report was being evaluated and that he would decide in about a week whether Dickerson would be asked to pay back some of the money.
Dickerson, a college classmate and friend of Dr. Andrew D. McBride, D.C. public health commissioner, said in the latest report that he had worked an average of 31 hours a week for the District, including every weekend day for six to eight hours and four more hours on three or four nights during the week.
The consulting contract attracted criticism from McBride's superiors last fall when it was revealed that Dickerson had a full-time job at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., at the same time he was getting $245 a day from the District and submitting bills for 40-hour work weeks.
City officials and some members of Congress questioned the quality and amount of his work when the contract and the reports he wrote were made public.
Dickerson resigned from Carleton College in December by "mutual agreement" between him and the college president after "lengthy discussion," which stemmed from the controversy on the consultant contract, said college spokesman James Shoop. The consulting "was a bit more than would be proper under our policies," though there was no dispute about his work performance at the college, Shoop said.
Dickerson said in his latest report that his consulting services were supposed to be provided "primarily on an oral basis" and that "indeed, given the sensitive and confidential nature of many of the subjects I addressed, I was cautioned on several occasions not to commit my information and analysis to writing."
The report did not say who told him not to put his thoughts on paper, and Dickerson said yesterday he would answer only questions put to him in writing.
He originally had submitted a four-page "final consultative report" that gave 21 general recommendations and, among other things, told McBride not to work so hard.
A later 35-page report entitled "A Tiger by the Tail or a Ship by the Helm," submitted after press inquiries, contained theoretical discussions of management styles. It referred to the tenets of Confucianism and was laced with elaborate metaphors, mottos and quotes from philosophers.
"It was the most embarrassing report I'd ever seen," Rivers said recently.
Rivers ordered Dickerson to submit justifications for the 40-hour work weeks he billed and said that Dickerson might have to pay back some of the money.
Dickerson's latest report said he was instructed by a McBride subordinate to get reimbursement for his expenses by submitting invoices for 40-hour work weeks. Dickerson said he incurred $10,419 in expenses on 15 trips to Washington.
He said he helped McBride set goals and made recommendations on a variety of staff and management issues.