Special Committee on Investigation of Executive Personnel PracticesDraft Report – August 24, 2011
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Shortly after taking office in January 2011, the administration of Mayor Vincent C. Graywas criticized for multiple problems with the selection of personnel in his administration,including hiring relatives of senior officials, paying employees excessive salaries, and failing tovet political appointees. Additionally, Mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown alleged that, as partof his 2010 campaign for Mayor, he received payments and the promise of a job in the Districtgovernment in exchange for his continued candidacy and attacks on former Mayor Adrian M.Fenty.Following these serious allegations, the Committee conducted a comprehensiveinvestigation into the Executive’s personnel practices as they relate to political appointments.
The Committee examined 19 witnesses during more than 25 hours of public hearings on March28, 2011, April 7, 2011, April 29, 2011, May 13, 2011, and June 6, 2011.
The Committeereviewed more than 20,000 pages of documents, including phone and text messages, bank statements, over 12,000 e-mails, and other records. This report discusses the Committee’sinvestigation and its findings, recommendations, referrals, and conclusions.Based on its review, the Committee has concluded that there is clear evidence thatchildren of senior officials were illegally hired, that the Gray administration engaged incronyism, that senior officials in the Gray administration received salaries that exceeded the legalsalary cap, and that standard personnel practices were not followed. There is also strongevidence that Howard Brooks, a senior member of the Gray campaign, provided funds to Mr.Brown during the Mayoral campaign and that senior officials in the Gray campaign promisedMr. Brown a job in the Gray administration.Although Mayor Gray was aware that salaries that exceeded the statutory salary cap werebeing paid, there is little evidence in the record to suggest that he was aware of nepotism andcronyism, or that standard personnel practices were being violated. There is also scant evidence,other than Mr. Brown’s own uncorroborated testimony, to suggest that Mayor Gray knew thatsenior members of his campaign gave money to Mr. Brown. Mayor Gray acknowledged thatduring the campaign he made a promise of an interview for a position in his administration toMr. Brown, but there is insufficient evidence to conclude that Mayor Gray actually promised Mr.Brown a job.The blame for the many personnel errors committed by the Gray administration fallssquarely on the trio whom Mayor Gray directed to manage the selection and placement of political appointees in his administration: Judy Banks, who served as the Interim Director of theD.C. Department of Human Resources; Gerri Mason Hall, who served as the Mayor’s Chief of
This investigation was initiated by the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment. On June 12,2011, the Council created the Special Committee on Investigation of Executive Personnel Practices and transferred jurisdiction over this investigation to it. The chairperson and membership of the Committee have remained thesame. For purposes of this Report, the term “Committee” refers to the Committee with jurisdiction over thisinvestigation during the relevant time period.
Video recordings of these hearings can be viewed online athttp://oct.dc.gov/services/on_demand_video/channel_13.asp.