Office of Campaign Finance clears Rhee
The District's Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) has dismissed a complaint against Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee alleging that she acted improperly by soliciting private foundation funds to help support the DCPS contract with the Washington Teachers' Union.
The complaint was filed in June by Robert Vinson Brannum, a civic activist and vociferous critic of Rhee and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Brannum is supporting Fenty's opponent, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.
Rhee raised $64.5 million from four private foundations to underwrite pay raises and performance bonuses under the new contract ratified by teachers this year. Brannum alleged that Rhee may have violated the law because the foundations (Broad, Arnold, Robertson and Walton) reserved the right to reconsider their support in the event of a "material change" in DCPS leadership.
Brannum alleged that Rhee's role in securing the grants "may have resulted in a direct personal, financial benefit to her," the OCF opinion said. Brannum also alleged that Rhee may been required to disclose this potential conflict and recuse herself from dealings with the private funders.
The opinion, released Friday by OCF Director Cecily Collier-Montgomery, said there was no evidence to support the claims. While the foundations told investigators that Rhee engaged in "several high-level discussions" with the organizations, she played no role in the inclusion of the leadership clause in the grant agreement -- a provision that is standard with foundation grants. Nor did she receive any form of financial gain from the funders. Nor did the union contract address her continued employment.
Brannum said in an e-mail late Friday:
"When I filed my request for the OCF investigation, I was personally attacked by media supporters of Chancellor Michelle Rhee. I stand by my request for the OCF investigation, which despite media misrepresentations, was neither political nor frivolous. I accept the determination of OCF."
Follow D.C. Schools Insider every day at washingtonpost.com/dc- schools. And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our new Higher Education page at washingtonpost.com/higher-ed. Bookmark it!
Posted by: educationlover54 | September 3, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: edjook8tr | September 3, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: educationlover54 | September 3, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: axolotl | September 3, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: davidgdo | September 3, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: candycane1 | September 4, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mfalcon | September 4, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mfalcon | September 4, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: incredulous | September 4, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: guylady201001 | September 5, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: madmom1 | September 5, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: incredulous | September 5, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: axolotl | September 6, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mcstowy | September 9, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse