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D.C. Tax Scandal

POSTED: 01:05 PM ET, 11/16/2007 by The Editors

The growing scandal over the alleged theft of millions of dollars by District tax employees has focused attention on the performance of D.C. Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi and his oversight of the city's financial operations. In a 2005 investigation, reporters Dan Keating and David S. Fallis found that city employees repeatedly violated spending laws by using unauthorized payments and no-bid contractors.

By The Editors |  November 16, 2007; 1:05 PM ET D.C. Region
Previous: Loudoun County Development | Next: Oil and Water

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This tax rebate embezzlement is similar to the teacher's union scandal. Middle-aged women live a visible Nieman-Marcus life completely incompatible with their income. The fruits of their crimes are visible as they remain in office for years. A simple jacket with that label might cost $1000, and plenty of people are aware of the price of an extensive wardrobe. For some reason there is little reason to conceal this booty from your associates. It's no wonder that we, who live outside the city, feel that the Barry years are not over.

Posted by: BrewerHouse | November 19, 2007 5:33 PM

The reporting on the real estate tax refund scandle is very interesting. I am sure just the initial scandle will provide material for many more columns as the procedures used to steal money and the process of distributing it to those in the know, is revealed.
However today's publication of further research of the Post staff into Mr. Gandhi's past performance, while providing a backdrop to judge his performance, leads to the question of how broadly based is the culture of stealing from the DC Government? Is there enough evidence to suggest that a careful audit of any substantial and regular disbursal of DC funds for any purpose, such as the school system, would reveal similar patterns of theft?

Posted by: Patrick McGuire | November 20, 2007 2:22 PM

BrewerHouse, thanks to people like you, Marion Barry will always be remembered in DC. Also, if you live outside the city, why do you care? Do you remember Enron and the many people who were affected by this high volume crime?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 21, 2007 12:09 PM

Some of the many things that are still remainign from the Barry years are both good and bad. Certainly there are many DC Government employees that should never have been hired and should log have been fired. We're still another 15 years or so before the last one will be gone. But all in all one thing we do have Marion Barry to think for moving the rights of DC's Gay Community forward. Or perhaps the community moved themselves forward. At any rate most of us that have been around long enough can remeember that Barry was first elected to office with much of his money coming from within the gay community. Now many of us see the horrible amount of DC employees that still hang on to their jobs and pay checks with far less than acceptable performance. The problem is noting is ever done about it.
Now when intelligent changes are made by well trained individuals some screem outloud that it is because they are white and the ones that they moved or fired are black. In reality, race has little to do with it. Instead it is the ability to know it is time to move on, and bring in more people that have a passion to do a good job. A passion to perform and meet or exceed the levels that should be basic performance levels.

What this entire city should be up in arms about right now is the fact that millions of dollars of our money has walked out of the Finance, via yet more employees that were not doing the job that they were hired to do. Yes, including Cheryl Hobbs Neuman, and yes even Ghandi. Ghandi fired Hobbs-Neuman yet he maintains his over paid position and salary lacking in the very over-sight that should have prevailed in preventing this scandle.
We need some balance here by City Council whom now has the right and the obligation to call for Ghandi's resignation and termination. After all is they think he walks on water, they should look outside their offices and see the drowning homeless people in the streets of our city that sure could have used some of that money for assistance in keeping themselves safe and warm.

Posted by: Ketih Jarrell | November 21, 2007 1:31 PM

Some of the many things that are still remainign from the Barry years are both good and bad. Certainly there are many DC Government employees that should never have been hired and should log have been fired. We're still another 15 years or so before the last one will be gone. But all in all one thing we do have Marion Barry to think for moving the rights of DC's Gay Community forward. Or perhaps the community moved themselves forward. At any rate most of us that have been around long enough can remeember that Barry was first elected to office with much of his money coming from within the gay community. Now many of us see the horrible amount of DC employees that still hang on to their jobs and pay checks with far less than acceptable performance. The problem is noting is ever done about it.
Now when intelligent changes are made by well trained individuals some screem outloud that it is because they are white and the ones that they moved or fired are black. In reality, race has little to do with it. Instead it is the ability to know it is time to move on, and bring in more people that have a passion to do a good job. A passion to perform and meet or exceed the levels that should be basic performance levels.

What this entire city should be up in arms about right now is the fact that millions of dollars of our money has walked out of the Finance, via yet more employees that were not doing the job that they were hired to do. Yes, including Cheryl Hobbs Neuman, and yes even Ghandi. Ghandi fired Hobbs-Neuman yet he maintains his over paid position and salary lacking in the very over-sight that should have prevailed in preventing this horribe incident on the citizens of the District.
We need some balance here by City Council whom now has the right and the obligation to call for Ghandi's resignation and termination. After all is they think he walks on water, they should look outside their offices and see the drowning homeless people in the streets of our city that sure could have used some of that money for assistance in keeping themselves safe and warm.

Posted by: Ketih Jarrell | November 21, 2007 1:36 PM

Perhaps I should apologize for bringing up Barry. What does he have to do with today's city government? His tenure and policies should best be called irrelevant. After all, how many years have passed since he held high office in the city or was convicted of a crime?
Returning to the refund story, I give an example. Say, someone of your approximate income in your office, who had the keys to the safe, started living the very high life. Wouldn't it be appropriate to bring up that issue somewhere? Eventually, I fear, we will discover that everyone around these women, who were both in positions of trust, was aware of their amazing windfall but no one dared or cared to report it.

Posted by: BrewerHouse | November 21, 2007 5:51 PM

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