Loose Lips

“Mess” of an Agency Was a Mess, Reports Auditor

One of the first news conferences of Mayor Adrian Fenty LL ever covered was last summer when he announced that he was firing his director of the Office of Risk Management after the city discovered that it might have to pay $6 million in life insurance premiums the city collected from disabled employees but didn't actually pay to insurance companies.

What struck LL at the time was how little talking Fenty did at the presser, and how Attorney General Peter Nickles seemed to be the one in charge.  (It didn't take a reporter new to the city beat to discover that Nickles actually was the one in charge.)

Anyway, the D.C. auditor has now released a report detailing just how bad things were at Office of Risk Management, which handles workers comp claims for D.C. government employees.

Among the many strong-worded findings in the report is the auditor's assertion that ORM's former director, Kelly Valentine, "violated District law by allowing vendors to provide services without a valid contract."

The auditor's report also details how the District had to reprogram or supplement ORM's budget by $12.6 million to cover the agencies screw ups. Money was reshuffled from a number of agencies, including $50,000 from the Office of Campaign Finance, $583,409 from the Office on Aging, and $350,000 from D.C. Public Libraries.

There's plenty of more in the report, but be forewarned that it's a dry read.

The auditor notes that's there's been some reform since Valentine was canned and new management was put in place. In January, Gray named Phillip A. Lattimore III as the new director of ORM. At the news conference announcing the appointment, Gray acknowledged that ORM is "a mess."

  • Really?

    Al when are you going to release my comments under Remember This Guy?

  • Really’s cousin

    Now this is news and I feel vindicated!

  • Just Curious

    My cursory read of this report raises some fundamental questions about the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) and the role that they should have played in preventing this from happening. Where is the leadership in the OCFO? When will enough be enough?

    First the CFO hired a fake attorney to serve as his general counsel. Second, this fake attorney stole money from the tobacco settlement fund. Third, Gandhi failed to prevent Harriet Walters from stealing over $50 million from DC. Fourth, the CFO and staff failed to track DCPS funds. Fifth, the CFO staff failed to track the paperwork and expenditures for UDC President Sessoms and now, the CFO failed to prevent this mess at OFRM.

    Moreover, what about the Gray personnel scandal? Vehicle leases? The ever-changing budget deficit numbers? Gandhi is a joke and it is high time that a new, competent CFO be brought in to replace him. How long will Gandhi's failings and shortcomings be tolerated?

  • Really

    Just Curious it isn't just OCF that raises concerns, Let's see:

    Valentine who was an unqualfied agency head With an annual salary of $147,848 (note that it's more than 110k)

    What about the firing Really?

    -Well “A Fenty spokesman did not respond to a question of whether Valentine would continue to draw a paycheck while on leave.

    So Really what’s the knock on Kelly V?

    -Kelly V mismanaged by failing to record and remit an estimated $8.7 million in deducted health and life insurance premiums

    -Valentine gave lucrative contracts to her friends. Contracts ranging from health insurance coverage and private investigations were handed off to companies with ties to Valentine, according to whistleblowers.

    -Well boys and girls and Drez Ms. Kell V asides from the FBI and the inspector general, city Auditor Deborah Nichols (see report in Al’s story with 2 counts) and the finance office's integrity team have also begun probes.

    Anything more interesting with the Kelly V firing?
    -of course… Fenty loyalist Chip Richardson will move from Fenty's general counsel to ORM's interim director.

    Richardson represented Fenty before he was mayor when he was admonished by the D.C. Bar Association for legal malpractice.

    Richardson also played a major role in the Fenty administration's ill-fated attempt to donate firetrucks to the Dominican Republic, and has also been admonished by the D.C. Bar Association for failing to pay $28,000 in child support payments.

    So it’s ok for certain folks (crooks) to draw $140k salary, It’s ok for certain loyalist to get a job in administration, it’s ok to use public funds to give to your friends, it is ok to fail to pay childsupport and still hold a job?

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/beleaguered-dc-risk-management-head-ousted (hat tip to Al)

  • Terry Miller

    Kelly Valentine was really nasty and hard to work with, but she was a good friend of the Mayor's wife, so she got an nice cushy job.

    And along those lines, the OIG issued a report in July 2010 about the director of the Office of Unified Communitations misusing her government owned car. That was during the Fenty administration, but as far as I can recall (and I keep pretty close tabs on these things), it was never reported in the press.

  • Tboz

    Terry Miller your statement is not correct. It wasn't Kelly that knew the Mayor's wife it was allegedly Monique LaBeach Poydras her Chief of STaff who supposedly had a relationship with Michelle Fenty. Mrs. Poydras has since been fired from the District as well. I worked there and believe me these two ladies got exactly what they deserved. Karma is a b*tch!!!

  • DCRez

    I believe that when Valentine was shown the door, years too late, it was only because and after the FBI informed former attorney general Peter Nickles that they had a 2 year old open investigation into her office and activities. I am going to suppose that investigation is still open and Ms. Valentine is not sitting very comfortable these days. She and Labeach-Poydras should review Colbert Kings warnings to the Gray Administration when she ponder's lying to the FBI. The latter, being an attorney, could very well stand the possibility of being disbarred.

    I have read the report and I am left wondering just what WERE these two doing the many years they ran the office. The report reads as if they just showed up to work each day, did very little work, handed tax dollars out to friends and went home with conscious in tact.

  • Craig Banks

    That office was a mess when Kelly took it over so I don't fault her. And those DC injured workers' are too much to deal with. That system of paying insurance premiums from injured workers lost time benefits is too large and complicated a task for an agency who just did not seem to have the resources to pull it off.

  • TB

    I worked with Kelly Valentine and she was an absolute bitch. Working with her and Monique Poydras was like going to jail beat down and emotionally stressed everyday. They were very unfair and provided no real direction to their staff, they were mean, nasty, selfish and down right despicable. That BITCH Kelly got exactly what she deserves, I hope Monique is next. THEY ARE WORTHLESS!!!!!!!!!!

  • john broxton

    Today DC WORKMENS COMP is still a mess.Phillip Lattimore has stock in Sedgewick who was the insurance provider until recently( 11-1-2013 ). This had to be a conflict of interest. Corvel corp. Is now the provider but they have the same practice of not answering phones, not responding to emails, and not returning calls.