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Nickles wants council's firetruck probe terminated

Attorney General Peter Nickles hit D.C. Council members Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) and Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) Monday with hand-delivered letters, writing that their probe into the donation of a firetruck and ambulance to a town in the Dominican Republic has been sullied by the lost testimony of two District employees.

The recordings of depositions by property disposal specialist Robin Booth and city ethics counselor Thorn Pozen are not available as Cheh and Mendelson prepare to complete their investigation with the release of a report Wednesday.

But Nickles is urging the council members to "terminate" the probe and defer to the Office of the Inspector General, which is also investigating.

"As you can imagine, this loss of testimony is a serious matter and calls into question the integrity of the investigation," Nickles wrote.

In an interview, Cheh called the letter "typical Nickles."

"They're not lost or missing tapes," Cheh said, adding that the testimony was never recorded due to an error with equipment. "I guess he wants to put a sinister spin on this."

In an e-mail, Mendelson said, "I'm amazed that the AG has run to the press about this; is his role to represent the government or score points against the legislative branch?"

A series of hearings last year already revealed that Sinclair Skinner, a friend to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D); Ron Moten, founder of Peaceoholics and another Fenty friend; and David Jannarone, who was director of the development, helped orchestrate the donation of the emergency equipment.

When the donation drew media attention, the equipment, which had made it all the way to Florida, was returned.

Cheh and Mendelson launched an investigation into the disposal of city equipment.

-- Nikita Stewart

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 25, 2010; 6:17 PM ET
Categories:  City Life , D.C. Council , D.C. Employees , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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Question is, why didn't Peter Nickles, as the Attorney General of the District of Columbia, investigate this himself.

Why isn't he "helping" the legislators get tot he bottom of it instead of looking for clever ways to sink the investigation.

Who does he represent, the laws of the city or the behind of the Mayor?

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | January 25, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

No way! Keep the pressure on! This is an election year. I want there to be a constant reminder that the Fenty administration refuses to cooperate beginning with Fenty, Nickles, Rhee, Santos and now Todman. Sinclair Skinner should always be in the front of our minds. He has all of our money!!!

Posted by: candycane1 | January 25, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Why should Cheh and Mendelson not do their jobs? Perhaps Nickles should either realize he is the Attorney General for an entire city or someone should take Nickles and Fenty to the Bar Association for their questionable actions.

Posted by: southyrndiva | January 25, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Of course the investigation should be terminated....after Fenty's tail is behind bars.

Posted by: starclimber9 | January 25, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Peter Nickles is without doubt obviously affected with lunacy.

He simply does not fail to stop with these ridiculous side shows. He intentionally attempts to deflect attention away from the most recent Michelle Rhee foot - in -mouth fiasco to one of the many other scandals in the Fenty administration...

Posted by: winston61 | January 26, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Instead of representing the city--doesn't our National AG represent the interests of the US--Nickles represents Fenty and Fenty's interests time and time again rather than DC's interests.

Oh btw....who paid to ship the firetruck abroad when it was improperly given away? And then shipped back? And if it was the city--which it should NOT have been--who authorized not only the giveaway but the shipping expenses each way?

Posted by: BlanketyBlank | January 26, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

When items were "lost" in the Pershing Park matter it didn't stop Judge Sullivan from moving forward. How can the loss of tapes in a fire truck case prevent Cheh and Mendelson from moving on? Councilmembers Cheh and Mendelson, please pull a "Judge Sullivan" and handle this!

Posted by: southyrndiva | January 26, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Please keep this investigation moving and ignore the partisan ramblings of Mr. Nickles.

Posted by: DCResident22 | January 26, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

If Attorney General Nickles wants to investigate something, he can investigate who the court reporter's taping equipment didn't function properly.

Posted by: DCResident22 | January 26, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Why wasn't the donation made public in the begining?? Could there be a cheap condo or two or three waiting in the wings after Fentys' term???

This crap STINKS!!!!!!!!

Posted by: doughboy96 | January 26, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

da city has so many assests that they can donate them to other countries? kick back time. documentation has a way of getting lost,phony investigation and business as usual

Posted by: pofinpa | January 26, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

If this was not so SAD, I would be busting my GUT LAUGHING. Another prime example of this crooked FENTY administration and the lengths they will go to cover up the actions of Fenty and his hood buddies.

Where this the AG get his law degree—JAIL.


Posted by: dccounselor72 | January 26, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

the council people consider this a political matter and wish to cover up all they can...
pathetic and sad...
isn't there an established procedure to handle these types of things...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 26, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This latest brouhaha only goes to prove the need for an elected Attorney General by the people of the District of Columbia. If this mayor or any future mayor wants or needs an attorney, let him/her hire the best criminal one around out of his/her own money.

Posted by: johnklenert | January 26, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

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