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Nickles Slows Down Probe into Fire Truck

Two D.C. Council committees were scheduled to hold closed-door meetings today to depose two Fenty administration officials as part of the ongoing Council investigation into how a surplus fire truck ended up, temporarily, in the Dominican Republic.

But Attorney General Peter J. Nickles, following through on a promise he made last week, is refusing to allow Robin Booth, the property management disposal specialist in the Office of Contracting and Procurement, and Deputy Fire Chief Ronald E. Gill Jr. to be put under oath today.

In a letter delivered yesterday to the members of the Public Safety and Judiciary and Government Operations and the Environment committees, Nickles said neither Booth nor Gill will testify until there are "witness protection procedures developed."

He said he wants a setup similar to that used by pro bono counsel WilmerHale in the council's investigation of the scandal in the Office of Tax and Revenue.

"Since I have not been informed that those procedures are in place, you should not expect Ms. Booth of Deputy Chief Gill to appear to testify pursuant to the Committee's subpoena power," Nickles wrote.

It's unclear if the committees still plan to hold executive sessions today absent the two star witnesses.

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  May 15, 2009; 7:06 AM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Mr. Nickles, if there is nothing illegal going on, and you certainly have the opportunity to talk to the witness' before the council, why look for all of these "witness protections"? YOU make it look as if there is something to hide here.

Perhaps you are trying to protect the attorney's in the Mayor's office that YOU selected who conducted the "investigation" as directed by YOUR office. The employees who, themselves, are involved in this illegal transfer of public property. Attorney's who, for some reason, left their role in the transfer completely out of the report.

Perhaps the council will ask how could Peacaholic's Ronald Moten be the founder of this "boxing tournament in the Dominican Republic and he doesn't have a passport, much less, ever been to the island (as per your investigation "findings").

Here again, I call on Eric Holder, to conduct an investigation into this. There are red flags of fraud at the highest level of D.C. Government which requires federal intervention and investigation.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | May 15, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

The more you refuse to cooperate the more it looks like there is something to hide.

Posted by: candycane1 | May 15, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I really can't believe that Nickles is being allowed to get away with these maneuvers. As a DC taxpayer I want the corrupt, secretive, cronyism to STOP. Does the federal government need to step in?

This reflects very poorly on DC and the effort for statehood and voting rights.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | May 16, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

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