D.C. Council Members Ask Gandhi Not To Pay Banneker Settlement
Five members of the D.C. Council are asking Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi not to pay out the $550,000 settlement between Banneker Ventures and Attorney General Peter Nickles.
"The agreement would foreclose any and all opportunity for the District to recover fees and/or damages for Banneker's failure to perform, negligent performance, possible fraud, and other potential causes of action," Councilmembers Phil Mendelson, Kwame Brown, Harry Thomas Jr., Mary Cheh and Michael Brown wrote in a letter to Gandhi.
Banneker Ventures, you'll no doubt recall, is owned by Fenty fraternity brother Omar Karim and is at the heart of an on-going council investigation into alleged fishy parks and rec department contracts. Mendelson, Thomas Jr., and Cheh sent a nasty letter to Nickles Tuesday scolding him for making the settlement without notifying the council or waiting for their investigation to be completed.
Nickles, for his part, said he reached a settlement with Banneker after months of deliberate work. He said the council is playing politics while he's stuck trying to clean up the legal mess they made when they canceled Banneker's contracts shortly after finding out they'd be given without council approval.
No word yet on whether Gandhi has the authority—or will—to breach the settlement.