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Summer Jobs Payroll Cut by 3,000

Another payday at the District's summer jobs program ticks by today, this time with more than 3,000 fewer people on the rolls, yielding a savings of more than $1 million, city officials reported today.

That meant 18,000 people were paid instead of the more than 21,000 from two weeks ago.

The reduction isn't quite as many as was promised when cuts were announced on Tuesday. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said then that about 5,000 people wouldn't be getting paid today to produce a more accurate reflection of the payroll.

The overestimation came from counting some people in more than one category of ineligibility, said Kevin Donahue, a Fenty aide who oversaw an investigation into the program.

"The Summer Youth Program has not been managed or administered the way the residents of the District of Columbia expect," Fenty said during the news conference.

People cut from today's payday were clear cases of ineligibility and absenteeism, Fenty aides said.

They "really knew they should not have been part of the program," Donahue said.

Some were too young or too old for the program, which accepts 14- to 21-year-olds -- including about five who were over 50. Some people had never shown up to work; others had been fired. And some people's Social Security numbers were entered into the system more than once, suggesting that they had been getting paid twice, Donahue said.

"We have a high degree of confidence that there was knowing fraud," he said, and noted that all of the information has been turned over to the District's inspector general, who is conducting his own investigation of the program, and who might press charges against some people when he concludes his inquiry.

More people might be cut from the program at the next pay period, Donahue said, though no cutbacks will be the size of this one. Donahue pointed to 200 non-D.C. residents as possible candidates for a cut, but said that some might have been eligible for the program if they originally lived in the District but had been placed in foster care outside the boundaries.

Michael Birnbaum

By Marcia Davis  |  August 15, 2008; 12:54 PM ET
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Next: Another Slight to D.C.

Comments

Where is my paycheck? Like most of those who got one, I too din't do jack.

Posted by: Jonathan R. Rees | August 15, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

whose "head" at the Dept of Employment Services "will roll" because of this expensive snafu?

Posted by: kgilmore | August 15, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

What a sad, sad not to mention embassaring commentary on the state of DOES.

Former resident

Posted by: DoM` | August 15, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Fenty is quoted: "The Summer Youth Program has not been managed or administered the way the residents of the District of Columbia expect," Fenty said during the news conference.

Unfortunately, us long term DC residents fully expect the DC summer program to always be mismanaged and badly administered. We learned long ago the program is not about youth or work experience but about politics and getting re-electd.

But never before have we seen so much money spent on this program with so little positive results. Fenty is beginning to make Linda Cropp look like she might have been a viable alternative.

Posted by: Former Fenty Voter | August 15, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Fenty's time to shine - if there's one thing he's good at, it's firing people. Now maybe he can get back to the other things he's good at, like....

um....

hmmm....

never mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I am a life-long resident of Washington, DC, and I worked in the Summer Youth Program back in the 80's when it was the child of Marion Barry. I don't ever recall a problem with the program back then.

Posted by: Susan | August 15, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I said it before, CANCEL this failed program!

It is social poison. Teaching kids that you fill out a form with the DC government and get free money. They then expect the same for life.

I pay for their High School.
The Fail.

I pay for thier Summer School.

I pay THEM to go to Summer School!
They get paid to GO to summer school,
if they go or not, if they pass or not.

No one else see the wrong message here?

Rewarding failure, irresponsibility, graft,
lying, stealing, fraud, ect!

Posted by: JohnInDC | August 15, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Time to Terminate the Terminator. Fenty continuing to draw pay is becoming the biggest scandal of all.

Posted by: S. Connor | August 15, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me the program was wrong from the start. With it's founder Marion Barry, maybe we should ask him where the money went.

Posted by: jacksont | August 15, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Fenty understands the people he has working for him. In his defense most of these worthless thieves have been there long before Fenty arrived. It takes time to clean up a mess of this size so I say, let's give Fenty time to straighten out these issues. These problems we're left on his door step by previous mayors. The big question is. Are the residents of DC going to help change the city or are they going to do as they usually do NOTHING. One person cannot effect change. It takes all of us to change. Maybe the residents need to take a step back and take a good look at their self's and their families. How do you expect anyone to respect you when you have no respect for your self?

Posted by: askgees | August 15, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I was a participant of the Summer Youth Employment Program under the Barry years. There were nearly as many problems then as there are now. The only difference is that it was a new program. It is the same in that it teaches inner city students how to do nothing (collect welfare) for a paycheck. No real work experience is gained by most of its participants. This keeping the cycle of poverty turning. Fifty-somethin's registered for the program; I've made my point is made. Another example of how bureaucrazy works well to spend taxpayer money on nothing. How is it that after nearly 30 years there are few lessons learned.

Posted by: Cymp | August 15, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

My children were part of the summer job program under Mayor Barry and it worked just fine. They each had a job and went to that job and got paid on time. So what is so hard about continuing to do this each summer.

Posted by: Carolyn | August 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Fenty has to do better in his next two years.
Michelle Rhee not really making the grade.

Nathwar Ghandi still being employed.

And A "newer, younger, team still driving around with the tags from their home state" that seem to know very little about their jobs.

That would not hurt as much when the District resident who helped him get into office is overlooked when they have better than their best in by way of credentials.


He has to turn it around or look to Mayor Gray or Brown, or some other color to take him out.

Posted by: Real Hunter | August 15, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Now they announce job cuts to the summer program just before the students go back to school after they were paid for doing NOTHING. Another example of real world welfare in DC. The students are learning early to get away with it here in DC~

Posted by: bobby12320007 | August 15, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

They need to clean house. A broken system cannot be fixed through Bureaucracy. The DC government is a like a bloated democratic monster. Instead, they need to develop a new program, or use a third party vendor to carry out this work.

Posted by: dendig | August 15, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Adrian McGreevy Fenty has spent too many years of his life smoking that wacky tobbacky that he is not able to think clearly that he give the job of agency heard DOES to a unqualified whinner!

Posted by: NEW FLASH | August 15, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Free money for everyone! Where is my check?

Fenty is too busy running around promoting his running store to actually mind the till of DC government.

Buying votes like Marion Barry with a "jobs program". I thought DC was tired of that racket?

Posted by: DCisForCriminals | August 15, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"The Summer Youth Program has not been managed or administered the way the residents of the District of Columbia expect," Fenty said during the news conference.

Wow...that's an understatement.


Posted by: WeNeedANewMayorNow | August 15, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The kids money should not have been cut when it is time for them to go back to school. How are they going to pay for clothes and school supplies? Learn from this and move on. Better luck next time.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I was in the program for just one week, but have been paid every pay period, including twice during one of the pay periods. Is the government going to try to get the money back?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

My son is getting paid and he has not worked a single day. I've called the bank manager, Mayor's Office and DC Payroll that my son was receiving payment and he has not worked...all of them refused to speak with me because I am not the recipient to account. I've told them I'm the parent of the recipient and my son is not physically in DC to make these contacts. Response in return...(click) phone hangs up. So I don't know what to do with the money that is being paid to my son.

Parent of not-working minor for Summer Program

Posted by: DCResident | August 15, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It would appear that someone got paid for nothing and committed fraud. A 50 year old? So wil the District go after him/ And who hired him? I guess the little kickback scheme almost worked. But marion still needs a new suit. Where did Ghandi learn accounting? He sure cannot count or manage money of any kind.

Posted by: K BLIT | August 15, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

DCResident, just tear up the checks. When they don't get cashed, the money stays in the treasury.

Posted by: Gasmonkey | August 15, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that the program is a complete failure. My son has had a wonderful experience this summer. Fortunately he was actually working and not just sitting in a classroom. I think that our community should get more involved. It only became a problem when the children didn't get paid. What was being said when the kids were coming home saying that they did nothing all day? Or were these conversations of "How was your day?" even taking place. Yes they screwed up, but we all need to take some responsibility for our children.

Posted by: Martin | August 15, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Fenty....hmmmm....Fenty....Wow you really suck at this huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I too worked in the summer youth jobs program in the early 1970s under Mayor Barry. I got my first job at age 14 and it was the most rewarding, positive and life-shaping experience of my life! I kid you not. Working gave me self-confidence, pride and self-worth to face the bullies and mean kids in the coming school year and a self-assuredness that I would be more than them as an adult. Back then, the program was resrved for District of Columbia children who were from low-income households. Now, I suspect the rolls are riddled with spoiled kids who live in affluent households in the suburbs.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Good job, Fenty! And, you're ultimately in charge of the schools? Yeah, ok.

Posted by: Dwayne | August 15, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

This is a mess. I agree with the statement that we are teaching youth to get paid for no work. AND all of this was not there when Fenty arrived. He hired these children. These directors etc. who are not loyal and clearly unqualified.

Posted by: Ward2Resident | August 15, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Just as Martin said my child "worked" a job, got paid, and learn valuable lessons about working everyday and budgeting her money. The Administration screwed up. Paying kids to go to summer school whom ever came up with that idea should be fired. What are we teaching our kids don't do what you suppose to do then I will pay you to do it. I doesn't make any sense at all to me but hopefully they learned from their mistakes and next year the program will work.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Fenty needs to recognize that some of the new people he is bringing into government aren't up to the task. He also needs to spend a little more time managing the government and a little less time chasing photo opportunities.

The mistakes are mounting up and they will come back to haunt him. Now is the time to do something about them.

Posted by: concerned citizen | August 15, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

$1 million 'saved', $49 million more to go.

This program is a joke, and everyone knows it.

It's time to end this travesty.

Posted by: Hillman | August 15, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

When will Fenty and Rhee stop firing everyone around them from teachers, socialworkers, accountants, HEY look at yourself. Can you fire yourself? Lets try that

Posted by: MS, CCC-SLP | August 15, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the DC govt should look for those who aren't showing up for work in the woods by the Rock Creek Park beach at 23rd and O / N Streets. Or, they could just bust the woods some night - as I've suggested to 2 officers now - to uncover the drug and/or sex ring that is running in those woods every weekend and some weeknights. No, wait, that would too easy for DC govt to get good press. Rather wait until a dog sniffs off the trail and uncovers a dead body, or a child finds a little baggy with white powder residue...definitely the better way to go.

Posted by: DCwho | August 15, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Fenty,

Keep on firing all those DOES and DCPS deadbeats - the whole lazy lot. I worked for an afterschool program a few years back, and it was always a joke working with them up on North Capitol.

At DCPS, you had to address everyone by their educational level - Dr. This or Joe Smith, MA - while half the students couldn't read.

DOES no difference. Just another set of educated bums collecting checks, waiting to retire.

Met some nice, hard working, people though. But in the end, I'm sure they gave up and joined the ranks. Hope not, though.

Posted by: Kelly | August 15, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I too worked in the summer youth jobs program in the early 1970s under Mayor Barry. I got my first job at age 14 and it was the most rewarding, positive and life-shaping experience of my life! I kid you not. Working gave me self-confidence, pride and self-worth to face the bullies and mean kids in the coming school year and a self-assuredness that I would be more than them as an adult. Back then, the program was resrved for District of Columbia children who were from low-income households. Now, I suspect the rolls are riddled with spoiled kids who live in affluent households in the suburbs.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 4:53 PM

I agree with you Anonymous. At a time when unemployement was high among young people, Marion Barry came up with a great idea. It was a very rewarding experience for me as well. But like anything else such programs must be maintained over the years or you will see decay. Whether people believed it was political or not, it was still a good program for youth. Its much better than 500 dollar toliet seats, stolen money by defense contractors, or building bridges to no where.)

Posted by: Good Program Needs Help | August 15, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey Fenty continued,

And keep on dumping. Next on your list, the deadbeat teachers and principals. If you need a head start, I would gladly hand over names who are stinking up some schools over in Southwest.

As i said before, there were some good people there, but they were far outnumbered by the hoodrats-pathetic role models called teachers who I worked with.

Sad. i still shudder.

Posted by: kelly | August 15, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Susan | August 15, 2008 2:31 PM

"I am a life-long resident of Washington, DC, and I worked in the Summer Youth Program back in the 80's when it was the child of Marion Barry. I don't ever recall a problem with the program back then."

*****************************************

Me either, Susan.

Posted by: luvmynaturalself | August 15, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I believed in Fenty. I voted him in and he turned his back on the residents. We were not good enough to be seen and not good enough to employ.

That is the biggest regretted vote of my life. All these new people, from New York, Illinois, none of them residents. None of them returning their money to the city or understand the city, are not up to the job that they have been given.

THANK YOU MR. MAYOR
I WILL BE VOTING for Anthony Williams
I WILL BE VOTING FOR VINCE GRAY
KWAME BROWN
HELL I WILL even vote for Schwartz and CATANIA

But never again for you.

This is one of many fiscal mismanagement lead by your team that could not find the hole in a donut.

Posted by: Vote 4 Fenty 2006 but not again | August 15, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Yet people wonder why DC has such a high crime rate. It's because the GOVERNMENT itself is teaching that it is all about taking. the tax scandal, the schools, now the jobs program.

Posted by: ep | August 15, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous | August 15, 2008 2:29 PM wrote: "Fenty's time to shine - if there's one thing he's good at, it's firing people. Now maybe he can get back to the other things he's good at, like....um....hmmm....never mind."
-----------------------
Hey, even if he spent 4 years only firing people Barry put on the payroll, that would be a plus!

Posted by: johng | August 15, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

This is a program I, as a DC resident, hated from the start. What are we teaching these young people? That you can get a pay check without having to actually work for it. It's no wonder DC has a high dropout rate. Why go to school when DC is giving you money just for showing up. And even then DC can't do it right. Why? Because the whole idea behind this program is to get pay checks into the hands of anyone who signs up. Don't worry about tracking the money. Just get it out. Don't actually live in DC. No problem. Fifty years old. No problem. Didn't show up the job. No problem. First the real estate tax scam, then spending $611M for a stadium for which we can't even get the team to pay rent, and now this. Just how incompetant is this city government?

Posted by: Big Jim | August 15, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

That the flags were long ignored in the OTR, is no real shocker. The Summer Jobs Program is among other untold examples, buried within the noise that creates news in this city. Misappropriation and mismanagement of public funds is quite easy when government officials don't respond to red flags.

Case in point:
Since at least 2002, citizens have been requesting an audit of ANC-4B's financial records, because the commisioners have a long-standing practice of writing arbitrary checks to thesmelves, without substantiating receipts or invoices. During one year when the ANC was not audited, they claimed a quarterly expenditure for nearly $7000 in postage, yet there were no verifiable mailings to constituents.

In response to an ANC quarterly financial report, the auditor noted the omission of sufficient documentation to support checks written to commissioners. Result: No action and no audit. When citizens request amplification of expenditures and the ANC's proposed budget, the commission reacts defensively. They are quite protective of their mad money.

Citizens have repeatedly sent requests to the DC auditor, and complaints to past and present Ward 4 council reps, Council Chairs, and the Office of Inspector General. Result: No action and no audit. For some "mysterious" reason, there is a period of 3 years that is seemingly exempt from an audit.

Waste, Fraud and Abuse is a shameful accepted norm in DC.

Posted by: Vote4BetterLeadership | August 16, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

I participated in the program during the summer of 1992. I was 14. It was my first job. My pay was minimum wage at $4.25 per hour. I showed up for work everyday. My first paycheck was $85.00 for 20 hours of work. The program was worthwhile and taught me the proper work ethics.

Posted by: Dave G. | August 16, 2008 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous | August 15, 2008 2:29 PM wrote: "Fenty's time to shine - if there's one thing he's good at, it's firing people. Now maybe he can get back to the other things he's good at, like....um....hmmm....never mind."
-----------------------
Hey, even if he spent 4 years only firing people Barry put on the payroll, that would be a plus!

Posted by: johng | August 15, 2008 10:37 PM


The problem is, he is also firing the people he brought in or they are leaving like Merrit Drucker or Neil Richardson. Those people were actually good at their jobs.

He is not a manager. gut reactions...and press clippings that is his style. And to make your press person who has nooooooo government project management experience your Chief of Staff means get ready for more silly.

She won't be able to stop the flood of news. All other news vehicles besides the WP are starting to report as they should on the malfeasance in the government.

It would be hard for them not to say that Emperor is not buck naked.

Bring in Robert Bobb I know you hate him. Get rid of Ghandi...that does not sit well with your voters.


Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

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