Loose Lips

Do You Expect Me To Talk?

The D.C. Council is moving to try to force one of the subjects of its parks contracts probe to be more forthcoming with special investigator Robert Trout.

In pursuit of details on the murky contracts that have enriched Mayor Adrian Fenty's fraternity pals, Trout wants Banneker Ventures' Omar Karim to start talking about his law firm, Liberty Law Group. Liberty Law made payments of $600,000 to Liberty Industries, which is owned by another Fenty friend, Sinclair Skinner, the Post has reported.

During his testimony before Trout in April, Skinner said those payments were not related to the parks contracts. Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. said Karim, who has already been deposed by Trout, is singing the same tune. So today, Thomas asked the council to reconvene Thursday to consider legislation that would allow Trout to get a court order compelling Karim to answer questions and turn over records related to Liberty Law. LL has a call into Karim's attorney, A. Scott Bolden, and will update as necessary. Chances are D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray—who, after all, has an election to win—won't stand in the way if Thomas wants the council to chew on the parks investigation a bit more.

After the jump, read Thomas' letter to Gray:

I am writing to request an Additional Legislative Meeting for this Thursday, August 12, 2010, to consider the, “Enforcement of Subpoena of Omar Karim Resolution of 2010.”  The Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation has scheduled an Additional Committee Meeting on August 12th to consider and vote on the measure prior to its consideration by the Council.

After conferring with the Committee’s Special Counsel pursuant to the, “Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation Budget Transparency Investigation Resolution of 2009,” it was determined that compelling the testimony of Mr. Omar Karim, Founder of Banneker Ventures, LLC, is vital to the integrity and completion of the investigative report.  This resolution will authorize the Special Counsel to address this matter in Superior Court.

  • tired

    We need a federal investigation now!!!!

  • bonnie

    If it quacks like a duck, ...

    I do agree with tired!

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com unbelievable

    I agree with the both of you. Fed's come on in

  • Lorton

    Fenty will end up in prison.

  • Tformation

    After all this time, they are still refusing to answer any questions regarding what they dud with our tax dollars. And this is ok with the mayor who wants us to give him a second term? No way Jose'!

  • Legal Beagle

    Bolden has a lucrative (?) practice representing crooked public figures. If you hire him as your defense counsel, the jury will KNOW you are guilty! LOL

  • David

    Omar is probably shredding documents as fast as he can.

  • Ward 5

    Legal Beagle - I think the same thing every single time I hear someone has retained him.

  • W Jordan

    In the larger scheme of things, this is starting to move from a legitimate investigation toward becoming a Witch Hunt. Almost, a distraction designed to avoid tackling more weighty and critical issues.

  • MD Observer

    I hate to say it, but this is how business is done in D.C. (and probably everywhere else). While doling out jobs and contracts to friends and family may not have started with Barry, it certainly flourished under him, and now the District is seeing what a culture of cronyism and self-dealing gets you...a sea of crooked politicians and more incompetent agency heads than you can shake a stick at! How do voters choose between a liar and a crook? When Barry asked the Council during his censure hearing, "Why are you singling me out?", he was speaking directly to what they all know...ALL of them have skeletons in their closet. The sense of entitlement to self-enrichment reeks at nearly every level of DC politics. A federal investigation is warranted, but does anyone really think there will be any prosecutions? Unless it is Barry, the US Attorney's office seems to have no appetite for holding local elected officials accountable. There will be a lot of "we're looking into this" and "we can't comment on that", but at the end of the day IT WILL GO NOWHERE.

  • Tformation

    Questions answered = witch hunt over!

    You can't refuse to answer questions and then call it a witch hunt when a year later we still have the same questions. That only means for a year, you refused to answer, it doesn't add up to a witch hunt. Same thing I've been saying all along. Fenty et al needs a dictionary so they know the correct definition of a term.

  • Tired of the Bullshit

    OK, first off you all are dumb as hell. This is nothing more than a witch hunt and it is a shame. First off, if you all were at the hearings you would have known that Omar was answering questions. The fact of the matter is that no person on that council has ever been part of a small home project let alone a large project and has no idea about how a project works and is just trying to get press out of this and beat a dead horse because they are not up for dealing with real issues. Lets be honest, when Neil Albert stated such and challenged the council folks to respond if they had, they all just turned their heads because they know they can't be honest about it. But this is what happens when you have a middle school council playing law makers.

    Now as for contracts, we are harping over $100 Million in contracts out of around $2 Billion in contracts. Where were you same folks when Tompkins Builders a District Based CBE was overlooked for several $150 Million plus jobs in favor of Baltimore based Whiting Turner who has ties to members of the council? How come we don't hear about that, well first off because the folks running WT is some good old white boys and it is only wrong when the little black boys get some money and do work. Second, why don't we talk about the contracts pushed to WCS Smith for all of damn South East (just look at Hensen Ridge) by Gray and his folks (oh yeah, they helped with his fence). This is a witch hunt because we can't do anything else or better. This is a shame.

  • Adrian Bent-Me.

    Tired of BS- I bet you are after spouting all of that crap. These payments you think we're harping over are going to unqualified individuals and companies. None of them would be in business today without Fenty. The other groups you mention are legitimage companies that have the capacity and experience to do a project on their own. Karim and Skinner do not. They use Fenty to get deals and then goes and hires legitimate companies to do the work.

    I have a problem with this because it's my fucking money being used to line Fenty's buddies pockets. So, the bullshit you speak of is only coming from your side.

  • tired

    Tired of BS (Adrian Fenty is that you???? First of all how dare you get angry because we the citizens of the District of Columbia want to know where our tax dollars are going. This is not about a damn fence.