The Prohibition of Separation Pay for Fenty Campaign Workers
Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh’s resolution effectively barred separation pay for former Fenty campaign workers who landed city jobs for the last three months of a lame-duck administration. As we’ve been reminded a little too well recently by Mayor Vince Gray’s administration, political hiring is part of the game in District politics. But the Fenty hires were pretty crass, even by D.C. standards. A few days before Fenty ordered a citywide hiring and promotion freeze because of the District’s flagging finances, a handful of his campaign workers were brought on board for city jobs that didn’t need immediate filling. Fenty flat-out coasted to the finish line, and he certainly didn’t need to swell the city’s payroll for help. The way city law was written, these hires were eligible for separation pay of up to four weeks. That could have meant payouts upwards of $6,000 apiece for a few months of “work.” Fortunately Cheh, or someone in her office, is a reader of Washington City Paper and noticed our reporting on Fenty’s hires.