Loose Lips

Cheh Seeks To Block Separation Pay for Fenty Campaign Workers

Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh is planning to introduce emergency legislation Tuesday that would prohibit separation pay for former campaign workers of Still Mayor Adrian Fenty who nabbed city jobs just before or even after a city-wide hiring freeze was imposed.

As LL previously reported, the half-dozen or so Fenty faithful who've been brought on during the last months of a lame duck administration (some of them at $70,000 a year salaries) are eligible under current city rules for up to four weeks of separation pay. (LL should have made clear in the previous post that the newly hired Fenty aides are just eligible for the pay, not necessarily guaranteed it. LL's bad!)

Cheh's proposed legislation would limit the political appointees, known as excepted service employees, who can receive separation pay to those who've worked for the city for 180 days or more at the time they leave city employment. That means no $6,000 bonuses for Fenty campaign workers who were only on the job for three months.

The resolution below makes pretty clear where Cheh got the idea for the legislation. So to the taxpayers of D.C.: you are welcome (if it passes).

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Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Stranger then Fiction

    Whats the truth behind the rumor "flooding the street" that gay Fenty LGBT power player Christopher Dyer is on the short list to head the MPAA? I knew there was some talk about Salmoneeze moving aside for Dyer at HRC but MPAA boggles. I am hearing this everywhere.

  • Sally

    A lovely and purely vindictive move by Cheh.

    Wake me when she introduces emergency legislation to cut Council Members' and their staffs' pay by 10%.

  • LOL

    I am not sure if it is purely vindictive. It would be a good idea for the campaign workers to not get severance and for the council to have to reduce salaries.

  • David

    Sally, you must be one of the people trying to get an underserved $6,000 from the District Tax Payers.

    Mary Cheh is definitely doing the right thing. It is way over due for Fenty to stop robbing this City blind. Fenty is corrupt and unethical. The day we see handcuffs on him will be a Happy day for the the Tax Payers of DC.

  • Ward Cl3aver

    Well done, Councilmember Cheh.

    Enforcing the same freeze Fenty claims to have frozen is a worthy last chapter to Adrian's reign of madness - and the first chaapter of budget balancing.

    Eloquently put, Noodlez.

  • Sally

    @David - You must be one of the people molesting children and bragging about it online.

    See? Isn't it fun how stupid anonymous Internet trolling can be?

    Like I said, wake me when she proposes to cut her and her staff's salaries by 10%.

  • David

    Sally, only a low brow Fenty supporter would stoop to the depths of low life, criminal activity as you did referring to child molesting . Why bring children in to this???? It only shows how your mind works and your character.

    Like I said, $6,000 is underserved, and for you think that Mary Cheh is being vindictive shows that you are either one of those people trying to stay on the gravy train or you are as corrupt as Fenty.

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anc4c09/ Joseph Martin

    I know people hired for those jobs after working in the campaign: "policy analysts" in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development among other positions. They are not bad people. They simply should not have been rewarded with city jobs PLUS $6,000 severence packages simply because they worked on the Fenty Campaign.

    The individuals got the jobs in the first place as a product of their simply being more of a "team player" (read: willing to work 7 days a week on the campaign whether they wanted to or not). I can think of one gentleman who did very hard work on the campaign but who still didn't pass some kind of loyalty test.The job he was "re-assigned" from in the government to the campaign was to be one he would not get back.

    There's so much more to this story, and the City Paper has done a decent job covering scratching the surface. Federal oversight agencies should be looking into this for Hatch Act violations - including the Corporation for National Service and Homeland Security with regard to the use of exploitation by the Fenty Campaign of professionals within the Mayor's Office on Volunteerism whose salaries came from the federal government.

    The Fenty campaign and the Mayor Fenty's actions with these patronage positions represent a cynical abuse of the system and an abuse of some very dedicated professionals. One of my former colleagues in EOM told me that because I spoke out when I when I did to Loose Lips, I probably saved about a dozen other seasoned government professionals from being shown the door right after the primary so that their positions could be filled by 20-somethings from the Fenty campaign. The word I heard from more than one EOM employee was that the Bullpen lived in fear that more of my colleagues would talk to Loose Lips or investigators.

    We saw frantic street pavings and sidewalk fixes taking place during the final months of the campaign in the areas and specific blocks and serving the needs of specific people who were regarded as pro-Fenty team players. What a cynical politicalization of the delivery of city services. There was a direct line of requests from the Mayor on the campaign trail to the campaign to DDOT to get certain things done in ASAP by the time of the primary or the November write-in effort solely based on political considerations.

    I often wondered about the people who had been requesting sidewalk fixes for years or street repairs while their requests fell on deaf ears because they were not regarded as "Team Players."

    Throughout all this, there are and have been and will be hard-working, extremely talented, brilliant, well qualified and dedicated professionals in all agencies of the DC government working to do the best job they can under these sometimes awful circumstances.

    The unethical pressure put on the agencies and individuals in the DC government entirely for political purposes was shameless and had a very demoralizing effect in the Wilson Building and elsewhere in the DC government. It is safe to say that so many looked forward to this campaign season to be over for the obvious reason and feared the wrath the might follow the campaign's end.

    It was not uncommon for some government workers to be called by the campaign or some bosses within government, told to take leave immediately and head out to the campaign trail to "volunteer" - to do "visibility" for "Emerald City" as the Fenty campaign was termed.

    I can think of DC government workers with small mouths to feed at home, parents to support, people economically vulnerable in these economically most challenging times who felt they had no choice. I recall one agency director confessing to me. "The campaign is calling some of my staff at their desks to tell them to get out on the streets -- and these are staffers who are Republicans and who will not be voting in the Democratic primary." (The campaign also did its best to use city workers who "volunteered" in the Palisades neighborhood and elsewhere to ask registered Republicans to switch their registration so that they could vote for the Mayor in the primary.)

    As I have mentioned elsewhere, I was called and emailed at my desk at the Reeves Center by Sarah Latterner of the Mayor's immediate staff in the Wilson Building and asked to provide lists of accomplishments for the campaign. Specifically, the requests were couched with the question: "You know what this is for, don't you?" I responded, "Your diary?" Sarah Lasner, deputy chief of staff at time, was constantly asking staff "to volunteer' entire weekends, extended hours for campaign-related activities.

    At our weekly staff meetings, Serve DC executive director Tracy Sandler would plea, "I need your leave requests. I'm not seeing your leave requests." I took this as veiled pressure to request time off to "volunteer" on the campaign. Staff seen as being "Team Players" were brought to the attention of the Mayor.

    In the end, these practices beg the question: Is this the best we can get for the DC government? Is that what we should expect from government?

    I don't think any of this would pass a grandmother's smell test or the stern eye of one of my Catholic School nuns.

    The Mayor's many secret trips, attending the tennis event in Dubai where the Israeli athletes (Some friends remarked, "I guess the Mayor is perfectly comfortable with Jews being singled out and excluded"), the refusal to meet with Dorothy Height and Maya Angelou, the questionable contracts benefitting Ron Moten, Sinclair Skinner, frat pals, the Mayor's refusal to attend the funeral of Metro crash victims...and the campaign abuses. The list seems endless. The Mayor paid the ultimate price.

    The about face from the 2006 Fenty Campaign pledge of transparency in government to what now know is more than unfortunate. It is a shameful disgrace.

    The residents of the District of Columbia deserved and deserve a far better performance by their Mayor and agency personnel than that from here on out.

  • David’s Mom

    David - Please stop playing on the Internet so that Mommy can use the phone.

  • David

    Sally AKA David's Mom. You are dumb as a dull door knob if you think people will not know know it is you.

    You have little if any moral character.

  • Anothernative

    @JM, I think your assessment of the situation is on point, how ever, you seemed to have over looked the fact that the Mayor has had his own built in reelection campaign committee from day one, i.e. the MOOCR headed by Ms. Lattener at one time. Some of these people have been (put) into government positions without them being anounced and or put out for competition which is very unfair to everyone else, no Director would dare challenge this for fear of reprisal, never the less, it's being done. I'm talking about gangster sh*t, that we need not ever allow to happen again, but the only way you do that is by acknowledging that we indeed have been fleeced.

  • David’s Mom

    Son, please stop playing on the Internet and look for a job. I can't afford to have you living in my basement for the rest of your life. And please stop ordering those women to come to the house; it's very uncomfortable for me.

  • Mary

    Cheh used her chief of staff and other staff members to work her campaign and I doubt they resigned their position to do the campaign work. Did they take a day of leave? She is being vindictive, small and petty and hopes no one looks are her staff and what they have done. Cheh's sloppy legislation continuously wastes taxpayer money and she does not feel it is her job to find funding for any of her proposals, such as healthy children's lunch program.

  • noodlez

    LIKE I SAID EARLIER ON THIS THREAD- FUCK 'EM!

    THEY SHOULDNT GET A GOT DAMN DIME AND WHOEVA DOESNT SIGN OFF ON THIS IS SOME SHIT.

    @SALLY AKA DAVID'S MOM-CAN I BE THE POT FOR A SECOND AND EXPRESS THAT THE MOLESTATION EXAMPLE WAS A POOR ONE.

  • DaddyGraceFishSandwich

    Sally, you need to go sit in a corner slut. You are one pathetic human being. I use to see you on Connecticut Avenue, NW begging for money and food as a bag lady.

  • WARD411

    CAN WE JUST GET RID OF BOWSER...PLEASE SOMEBODY SAVE US IN WARD 4!

  • American Rogue

    Sally,David’s Mom - What are you some type of spastic alarmists? The point of Cheh’s legislation is sound. If maneuvers such as the one she attempting to block have been part of the political game in the past, then let this be the end to the cycle. Does the District have an Inspector General HOTLINE for fraud, waste and abuse which both citizens and DC works can call?

  • PJ Smith

    First off Joseph Martin, you are a spineless coward for even pulling this into the pages of LL or the city paper. The fact of the matter is that if you want to truly save our tax dollars from going away how about you mandate that government employees live in the city and stop bowing down to the heads of AFGE and the local Unions. Jos Williams and them have not the interest of the city in mind but their membership which lives in PG, Charles, St. Mary's and Montgomery County. They are not worried about our tax dollars because most of their members don't pay city taxes.

    Now as to your concern about those individuals they should receive it as they did their job. If not the staff of Cheh and every other council person who worked on the campaign should be brought up on Hatch Act Charges as they were breaking the law including Cheh's COS who actually attended events and accepted endorsements on her behalf. This is purely get back from the Ward 3 Councilwoman who is showing her petty side more and more. If she was a great councilperson her ass would have listened to her residents and endorsed who they supported who wasn't Gray. Ward Council folks should listen to their residents or stay out of it, but that doesn't happen in this joke of a political city known as Washington. And before anyone talks about me saying something about this city, I'm a third generation Washingtonian, product of DC public schools, have a masters degree and so does my wife who along with me lives in the city so go and kiss a fat ass.

  • DCCommish

    Sally take you meds because your mind is a wreck!

  • Jon Bon Jovi

    Sally, you are one bitter old hag! It's obvious you haven't been laid in several hundred years. Go find you a man and get laid. Stop being such a bitter human being, that's if you are human Sally.

  • DCDem

    I really don't care about the motives of Councilmember Cheh, though I give her the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. It is sound legislation that needs to be passed if for no other reason to send a message to future Mayors that career service city jobs are not the spoils of winning elections and the city treasury is not the piggy bank of the Mayor.

    A six month minimum, on the job requirement, prior to being eligible for severence pay is fair and reasonable particularly when we are speaking of the expenditure of local taxpayer dollars. The city is not a private corporation run by a Owner/CEO. Everyone, including the Mayor, is a public SERVANT.

    Whatever actions that are taken, at this stage, to reduce wasteful spending and decrease the city's current and anticipated deficit are just fine with me.

    A vote against this would be a vote in favor of cronyism spending.

  • Really?

    Interesting....the Fenty supporters love to dish it, but the sure as hell can't take it.

  • Skipper

    Wait - Cheh's staffers worked on her campaign while also working on the public dime? Isn't that a story worth some LL digging?

  • Typical DC BS

    Since the DC councilmembers are among the highest paid in the nation (and among the most inept) and considering they are all part-timers (i.e. allowed to hold onto their full-time "real" jobs), they should be also giving up 10% of their salaries in order to share the pain with city workers who will get their pay cut thru upcoming furloughs.

  • DCDem

    I do agree that the "part-time" Council should be shedding a percentage of their salaries, as well as, their spending budgets in the same way that they have agreed to shed the employee ranks and budget of city agencies. If you have to spread the pain, then start in their OWN house.

  • 4OURFUTURE

    @PJ Smith, I'ts folk like you that start negetive thinking about labor unions, of which you know absolutely nothing, not to mention your personal benefit from them as a result of they're participation in the civil rights movement. You brag about your so called masters degree but you fail to mention the shoulders on which you stood to get to it in the first place. I guess ignorance is bliss though (huh), when you speak of leaders such as Jos Williams, you should do so with pride and respect instead of the disdain you so unconsciencely spout. Use that degree and read your history on Labor Unions sir.

  • tired

    Amen 4OURFUTURE, this union bashing has got to stop.

  • GrayDay

    Wow take 6k from young people, not one of these kids are over 25. Great job Cheh, its gonna be hilarious when these same ppl, prob Ward 3 residents, run the campaign against you that should have been this year. Everyone leaving the Fenty administration has great jobs lined up throughout the country(florida, nyc), where things like education and progress are important. If you mention Fenty or Rhee outside of DC your treated like a veteran from the war on ignorance. Enjoy your 700 million deficit!!!!!

  • tformation

    @GrayDay.... enjoy the fact that they hired you based on your pumped up, false resume and have a wonderul New Year because in 3 to 6 months after you and the rest of the Fenty clan have started work, your Bosses will be able to have the same first hand knowledge the rest of us based your terminations on and once again, you will be FIRED! The Washington Post can only make strangers believe you all are the second coming. The rest of us know better and so will everyone else after they get to know you like we did. Good riddance!

  • Hmm…

    @tformation - I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of the people impacted by this “emergency bill” that amounts to pennies when you’re talking about a government budget. You may not like their boss but he is known for working people like slaves.

    The people they are targeting are probably some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. My boy was MIA for months on that campaign. They desired good jobs if their willing to work 100+ hour work weeks. That is not the norm in DC Government. Anyone that disagrees has either not work there or in SERIOUS denial. This is a political power move. Plain and simple.

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