The deputy chief financial officer for the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue abruptly resigned last week, two weeks after a subordinate was granted a restraining order against him and his wife that alleged the aide had been threatened by the couple.
Herbert J. Huff, 60, who joined the department four years ago, left without offering colleagues an explanation, co-workers said. Neither he nor his wife responded to telephone messages left at his home yesterday.
D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi's spokesman, Eric Balliet, said Gandhi could not be reached for comment. Balliet declined to comment, citing confidentiality concerns.
Virginia Daisley, 39, communications director for the tax office, said in an interview yesterday that she filed a police report and sought a restraining order after Huff and a woman who identified herself as his wife left what Daisley called a threatening message on her home voice mail Nov. 16.
Daisley said the couple had called her home earlier the same day and accused her of harassing them.
"He said, 'Hey, look here, I want you to stop harassing me and my wife,' " Daisley said.
Daisley said the woman asked her: "Do you have a relationship with my husband?"
Daisley said: "I'm not having an affair with this man. I was perplexed about why he would give [my name] to his wife for her to call. It's scary."
Daisley said she decided to call police after she received a message on her home voice mail later that day from a woman threatening her life.
In a police report dated Nov. 16, Daisley is listed as the complainant, alleging that an unnamed suspect "called her home phone and left a message to kill her."
Two days later, Daisley sought a restraining order against Huff and his wife, Lavita, that was later granted by a D.C. Superior Court judge. Police said last night that they are investigating.
Daisley said she also took a copy of the taped message to internal security officials at the tax office.
Daisley began working at the office in September 2000 after serving as a public service announcement editor at ABC-TV in New York City. She said she had met Huff while doing public service announcements for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Huff was a regional director for the IRS in Brooklyn, N.Y., before he was hired to work as the director of operations for the District's tax office. Daisley said that when she was hired at the D.C. office, she was told that Huff had recommended her for the job.
Daniel Black, the current director of operations, will replace Huff on an interim basis, and a national search will be held to find a permanent replacement, according to a news release from the tax office.
Tony Bullock, spokesman for Mayor Anthony A. Williams, said that the mayor is aware of Huff's departure and that he does not have personnel authority over the office of the chief financial officer.
"The mayor has confidence in Dr. Gandhi and feels he has dealt with it in an appropriate fashion," Bullock said.