I take exception to the editorial that gave me direct responsibility for the failure of multiple local and federal government agencies to investigate and close down the illegal "banking" activities of the Latin Investment Corp. {"Banking on the District," Dec. 12}. The loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars by LIC depositors could have been averted if:

The multiple agencies of government had moved to close down the illegal operation using the authority vested in the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs against civil violations of the law.

The mayor had transmitted to the council the legislation prepared by the Office of Banking and Financial Institutions that would empower it with investigatory authority.

The D.C. Council had been notified two years ago about the illegal activity and the need for legislation on an emergency basis to close the illegal operation. The council was never notified.

The Post stated that "the Office of Banking and Financial Institutions {is} under the direct supervision of its D.C. Council overseer, Charlene Drew Jarvis." The superintendent of the OBFI, under the direct supervision of the mayor (not my supervision), should have notified the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs about the company, which was allegedly engaged in "banking." The DCRA is the very agency that granted Latin Investment its articles of incorporation. In addition, with the exception of the police department, the DCRA is the only agency of government that has investigators for the purpose of detecting such illegal activity. The DCRA is empowered, according to D.C. law, to revoke the articles of incorporation and involuntarily liquidate the company.

Instead, as your editorial stated, the OBFI simply "ordered the company to apply for a banking charter."

Further, the Corporation Counsel, under the direct supervision of the mayor (not my supervision) could have exercised the leadership option of collaborating with affected agencies (potentially the Metropolitan Police Department, the OBFI and the DCRA) to comprehensively address this issue and avert this catastrophe. If in the view of the Corporation Counsel, additional investigatory and Home Rule prosecutorial authority was lacking, the professionals in that office could have simply drafted and transmitted to the D.C. Council the necessary enforcement legislation two years ago, when the illegal activity was uncovered.

Instead, as your editorial stated, the Corporation Counsel "begged off, claiming lack of prosecutorial power and passed the buck to the U.S. Attorney."

These agencies are not under the direct supervision of the council. They are under the direct supervision of the mayor. To suggest that the council has direct supervision over any agency suggests that we ought to really "clean house" and abolish the executive branch of government or, at least, the positions of deputy mayor, city administrator and mayor.

Moreover, the OBFI had drafted for the mayor's approval legislation that would have empowered it to investigate. Unfortunately, the draft legislation has languished in the executive branch for two years.

The executive branch of government, which found time to swiftly write and transmit to the council a bill to provide transition money for the mayor and everybody else, should have as swiftly transmitted the banking bill and a bill that wrests from the U.S. Attorney Home Rule prosecutorial authority long before now. CHARLENE DREW JARVIS D.C. Council member (D-Ward 4) Chairman Committee on Housing and Economic Development Washington