A headline on an article about former D.C. deputy mayor Ivanhoe Donaldson yesterday incorrectly characterized an investigation. Although Donaldson is being investigated as part of a broader corruption probe in Chicago, he is not a target of the investigation. The article was correct.
Federal authorities in Chicago are investigating Ivanhoe Donaldson, a former D.C. deputy mayor who recently pleaded guilty to corruption charges here, to see if he played a role in the awarding of a Chicago parking contract that is the focus of a corruption probe of Chicago city officials, according to informed sources.
Donaldson was a director and part-time consultant for Datacom Systems Corp., a parking management and collection firm that has the Chicago parking contract, until he severed his connection with the company last year.
Donaldson pleaded guilty last month in U.S. District Court here to charges of stealing nearly $190,000 from the D.C. government over three years and of orchestrating a cover-up. He is awaiting sentencing.
Both Donaldson, Mayor Marion Barry's former top political adviser, and Barry took part in Chicago Mayor Harold Washington's hard-fought 1983 campaign for mayor.
A Datacom spokesman said last night that Donaldson did "absolutely nothing" to help the company get the multimillion-dollar Chicago contract, which was awarded last year. Manuel Valencia, Datacom's spokesman, said that the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago has told Datacom that it is not the subject of the Chicago probe.
Chicago newspapers have reported that the federal investigation is focusing on the activities of an FBI undercover operative who worked for a Datacom competitor.
Donaldson went to Chicago with other firm officials for a scheduled meeting with Mayor Washington in late 1983 or 1984 in which Datacom officials intended to make a presentation, Valencia said, but Washington canceled the meeting. "He Donaldson may have made some phone calls, but we just don't know," Valencia said.
John Brophy, a former D.C. parking official who now is a Datacom executive, has said that the firm recruited Donaldson after he left the D.C. government in late 1983, in part because of his contacts with black public officials.
Datacom, which is wholly owned by Lockheed Corp., holds several parking management and collection contracts with cities around the country, including a $3 million contract with the District government.