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D.C. sues to get back errant payment to Historical Society

The District Office of the Chief Financial Officer made a mistake in June when it sent the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., a check for $249,771.08. The check was the last payment in a $1 million earmark given to the nonprofit to help develop exhibits.

But the CFO's office had already wired a payment five days earlier. The historical society deposited the check and never returned the money, according to a lawsuit filed by the city against the group this week.

Led by Attorney General Peter Nickles, the city is seeking the $749,313.24, using a city procurement law that makes recipients of inadvertent payments liable for three times the amount if they fail to repay the money. The city is also seeking unspecified attorneys' fees and damages.

Sandy Bellamy, the society's executive director, did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

By Nikita R Stewart  | October 20, 2010; 3:06 PM ET
Categories:  Nikita Stewart  
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Comments

why does Nat Ghandi still have a job?

Posted by: actupdc | October 20, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Why does Peter Nickles still have a job?

Posted by: shepDC | October 20, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Why did $1 million of my tax dollars go to the Historical Society in the first place?

Posted by: 4Ward4 | October 20, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't 4Ward4 ever learn that man doesn't live by bread alone?

It's a terrible shame this is happening. The Historical Society is such a wonderful resource for the entire city and would be hit very hard by any requirement to pay back triple the amount it received in error.

Posted by: 20bsy08 | October 21, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like another slightly loonie D.C. law. I think it's reasonable to ask them to repay it with interest after a certain amount of time, but the city's law is trying to extort money from a nonprofit organization that performs a valuable service to the community.

What I would REALLY like to know is this: Who in the CFO's office is being penalized for making this mistake of paying the historical society twice??

Posted by: Kathy8 | October 21, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

WOW! NO ONE KATHY8, SHAME, SHAME MORE OF THE SAME FROM GHANDI. HE'S STILL THERE. THEY CAN'T GET MY PAY CHECK RIGHT AFTER I FELL DOWN THE STAIRS AT WORK AND HURT MYSELF. I HAVEN'T BEEN PAID SINCE JULY...

Posted by: drfields | October 23, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

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