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Gandhi will continue contract payments while seeking court ruling

Chief Financial Natwar Gandhi announced Friday afternoon he will continue payments on the contracts that were not voted on by the D.C. Council, but he plans to ask a judge to sort out the ongoing feud between the mayor and the council over the issue.

In recent weeks, Gandhi has been caught in a dispute between the county and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's administration over whether the city should continue payment on $875 million in contracts that did not get council approval.

The council passed emergency legislation last month requiring Gandhi, who writes checks for the city, to halt payments on the contracts if the Fenty administration did not send them to the council for review. But Attorney General Peter Nickles maintains the contracts did not have to be sent to the council for approval because their underlying agreements had been approved.

In a letter to Fenty (D) and Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) Friday, Gandi said he has decided to pay the contracts "in the interest of maintaining good governance in the District of Columbia" and to continue 'the operations of the District government."

Halting payment, he said, could result in a "rash of lawsuits" and undermine the "District's credibility in the financial markets." But Gandi said he hired an attorney to take the matter to Superior Court so a judge can resolve the issue.

"Despite my understanding that the Council and the Executive are continuing to discuss a compromise, neither has indicated that any agreement may be achieved soon, if at all," Gandhi wrote.

-- Tim Craig

By Anne Bartlett  |  January 29, 2010; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig  
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Can this administration get any more corrupt? Is there no check and balances? The mayor, Attorney General, and city council should all be arrested and tried under the RICO statue for running a continuing criminal enterprise. AG Peter Nickles is more a consigliere for Fenty than an AG representing the people of DC.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | January 29, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Gandhi is a coward who should have left government a long time ago when he stopped having the backbone to stand up to the Mayor.

Posted by: tm7333 | January 29, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I think the council should have gone to court.

Posted by: candycane1 | January 29, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

This is what is wrong with trying to do business in an election year; all of the posturing and pandering and lack of compromise.

Either the contracts are legal or they are not; it should not take all of this back and forth. Ghandi seems like the ONLY one in this whole mess that wants to really determine the right and wrong of this situation, thus his hiring an attorney to take this to the Superior Court.

Is no one considering the children and the citizens who want their centers built and jobs brought to the communities of these Rec Centers.

Posted by: lacairaine | January 29, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

This has to be one of the most impotent--or crooked--councils ever! For all of its public posturing and threats, there is never any follow-through on promised corrective action. Whatever came of the marathon hearings on the October RIFs of DCPS employees? Nothing! What will come of the inquiry into Rhee's alleged non/reporting of criminal misconduct to the appropriate officials? (Probably) nothing!

The council passed emergency legislation prohibiting Ghandi from making payments to recipients of unauthorized contracts and he totally disregards the order and writes the checks anyway!

Since this council does not provide the proper checks and balances to adrian ("the boy who would be king") fenty, I say get rid of all of them at the next election. Too many of the members appear to be complacent with their symbolism alone and refuse to "go to the mat" (in any effective, results-producing manner, anyway) for their constituents. D. C. residents deserve much better!

Posted by: schooletal | January 30, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Gravy train...makes it's own gravy

Posted by: billthrice | February 2, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

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