Two contrasting proposals for rooting out corruption in the District government were announced almost simultaneously yesterday by D.C. City Council Chairman David A. Clarke and council member John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2), a day after Mayor Marion Barry disclosed sweeping disciplinary action against 11 employes cited for their involvement in the Ivanhoe Donaldson fraud and cover-up case.
Clarke, proposing a permanent "independent" government agency controlled jointly by the mayor and the City Council, said he was acting in response to a "tone within the community" of concern about corruption allegations.
"People are basically concerned about what is being reported to them on a rather regular basis and a big question is, 'Where will it end and when will it end?' " he said. "This bill is designed to say that we are going to create a method to find out how far it goes."
Wilson, charging that Clarke's proposed agency could be overly influenced by the mayor, urged the creation of a temporary special council committee that would investigate corruption and mismanagement.
"We don't need another whole agency," he said. "The [D.C.] charter gives us the authority to investigate . . . . I think the council should play its role. I don't think that role should be passed to somebody else."
The two legislators, who are both weighing a challenge to Barry for the mayoralty, denied their proposals were politically inspired or tied to Barry's move Wednesday. The mayor announced disciplinary action against nine city workers and accepted the resignations of Department of Employment Services Director Matthew F. Shannon and Deputy Director James George.
"It's not a reaction," Wilson said. "It's something I thought should have been done a long time ago."
Clarke, asserting that "I am not making at this time any criticism of Mayor Barry," said it is "not sufficient for us to simply point out that we ourselves are clean."
Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4), a possible candidate for council chairman or mayor, reacted to Clarke's plan with criticism for what she said was his effort to block her proposal two years ago to improve computerized monitoring of government agencies.
"Perhaps if Mr. Clarke had supported these recommendations giving the council resources for proper oversight, he would not feel compelled to create a new bureaucracy now," Jarvis said in a statement.
The Clarke and Wilson proposals call for subpoena powers for their respective investigative bodies. Both men said they envision investigations that would go beyond the primarily accounting-oriented approach of the D.C. inspector general's office and the office of the D.C. auditor. Jarvis said she favors giving the D.C. auditor subpoena power. The two plans differ on many other points. Wilson's Special Committee to Investigate Management Practices and Professional Ethics in the District Government would consist of five members nominated by the council chairman and would operate until Sept. 30, 1987. The committee -- staffed by investigators, auditors and clerical employes -- would have a $750,000 budget and would make its findings public, Wilson said.
Clarke made no budgetary proposal for his Office of Investigations, but said it would be headed by a director chosen by the mayor from a list of three candidates recommended by a selection committee. The director would be confirmed by the council.
The selection committee would consist of two members appointed by the mayor, two appointed by the council and one by the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar. The mayor would name the chairman.