Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Sinclair Skinner, the WaPo’s Credibility Killa? Edition

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    Sinclair Skinner, The Washington Post's Credibility Killa?: Sinclair Skinner, former Mayor Adrian Fenty's fraternity brother who an independent investigator found ripped off taxpayers and may have engaged in illegal pay-to-play practices with city contracts, was given space in one of the country's premiere newspapers to call for Mayor Vince Gray to resign. The Post's decision to run Skinner's diatribe against Gray (he also wants Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown, and Councilmembers Harry Thomas Jr. and Jim Graham to consider resigning) probably caused plenty of guffaws, especially in parts of town where the paper of record is already viewed as out to get Gray. It's a shame that the Post let Skinner get away with writing such a banal hit piece on Gray and love letter to Fenty when there's so many unanswered allegations about Skinner's fleecing of District taxpayers. The Post's own Mike DeBonis reported this weekend that the independent investigator, attorney Robert Trout, told councilmembers that Skinner's engineering firm ripped off taxpayers by $540,000. That's on top of Trout's findings that Skinner stonewalled the investigation and may be part of a shady pay-to-play deal. But the Post let Skinner get away with writing this: "I won’t sugarcoat it — the Trout report calls for further investigation of my business. I am confident that this investigation will clear my name." Maybe the Post and Skinner aren't aware of what the term "sugarcoat" means.

    Not that Skinner is alone in the hypocrisy department. Look at Councilmember Thomas, who headed the special committee that commissioned the Trout report. Thomas has made repeated promises since October to release the financial details of his non-profit Team Thomas, like which business interests gave what, and how that money was spent while Thomas was a sitting councilmember. So far, he's not lived up to those promises, even though he heads the council's committee on economic development. (Meanwhile, The Examiner's Jonetta Rose Barras wants House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa to expand his probe of Sulaimon Brown's claims against Gray and investigate Team Thomas.)

    AFTER THE JUMP: An Orange Ward 8, Cherita Mystery, Money for Bobb...

    Orange Roll: Special election at-large candidate Vincent Orange had a good weekend. He won nearly 90 percent of the vote during this weekend's Ward 8 straw poll and officially kicked off his campaign with a party. "When the votes were tallied, my name rose to the top and I want to thank the Ward 8 Democrats for putting their support behind my campaign. This is a clear indication that my message of, 'Independent leadership that will stand with you.' is resonating across the District of Columbia. We offer the experience, integrity and accountability to improve our City," says Orange in a statement. The Georgetown Dish covered his campaign kick off party, which featured former Ward 8 Councilmember Sandy Allen. Meanwhile, in at-large news, the Post says the tone of the race "heralds a dramatic shift in political climate that has left Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown sidelined in a campaign that could affect the ideological balance of the 13-member council." The story reports on At-Large Councilmember Sekou Biddle's attempts to assert his own independence. "'I don’t have years of political deal-making under my belt,' Biddle said at the Gertrude Stein Club forum last week. 'And I don’t owe anyone anything.'" Judging from his poor performance at the Ward 8 straw poll (he got just six votes), that may be more true than Biddle realizes. Hey-oh!

    The Mystery of Cherita: The Times' Jeffery Anderson continues his investigation into the case of Cherita Whiting, Councilmember Phil Mendelson's former assistant who is now working for the Department of Parks and Recreation. At issue is whether Whiting a) revealed a past felony conviction on her job application and b) whether H.R. is recommending she be fired. Anderson provides alternate accounts for both questions. On the first issue, the Gray administration says Whiting indicated on her job application that she had a criminal history, but Anderson says that's at odds with what Whiting told him a month ago. On the second issue, the Examiner reports say that H.R. director Judy Banks testified at a hearing last week that Whiting's placement at DPR was a mistake,  but then a spokeswoman for the H.R. department told the Times that "no employee was mentioned by name" at the hearing and wouldn't comment further on what Banks said.

    Robert Bobb Needs Some Money?: D.C. Watch's Dorothy Brizill says members of business community wants former City Administrator Robert Bobb to leave his gig in Detroit and be Gray's next chief of staff, and they're willing to find extra money for Bobb's salary to make it happen. Brizill, and LL, wonder how that could be legally or ethically possible.

    Why Did Pope Get Booted?: Did Patrick Pope, the former principal of Hardy Middle School, try and weed out poor kids from his school? And is that why former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee removed him? That's the allegation made by Rhee biographer Richard Whitmire, which Greater Greater Washington's Ken Archer gets an unnamed Fenty official to back up. Pope strongly denies the charge. Meanwhile, GGW crunches some numbers to help you make up your mind.

    In Other News: House investigation "threatens Gray's 'One City'" says Examiner. Gray's had fewer problems to deal with than previous new mayors, but is still getting rocked by scandals, says the Times. Bike outreach across the river. Fox5 has footage of Sulaimon Brown about to walk into a building and talk with FBI agents on Friday. WaPo editorial board says cut UDC President Allen Sessoms some slack on his travel issues. New York finds that Michelle Rhee has a busy schedule.

    Gray sked: Potholeapalooza, at 12:30 p.m.

    Council sked: 10 a.m. Health committee.

    • http://www.facebook.com/PeterOrvetti Peter Orvetti

      If Gray did leave office, wouldn't K. Brown become mayor? And if they both left, then who?

    • Bigglesworth

      "Did Patrick Pope, the former principal of Hardy Middle School, try and weed out poor kids from his school?"


      Repeat: NO.

      He got booted because he openly expressed his contempt for IMPACT -- its methods, its utility and its being a distraction from actual learning -- and was viewed as "not a team player" by the Rhee camp. Anyone who actually got to know the kids and families of Hardy knows many of the kids were anything but rich.

      Richard Whitmore, you are officially a clump magnet in the Bigglesworth litterbox who should be buried alongside the likes of HTJ, Kwame and Orange.

    • trulee_pist

      Is linking to Ken Archer's lame-o mau-mauing of the flack catchers on behalf of Michelle Rhee LL's credibility killa?

    • DCRez

      @Peter Orvetti: answer: The pro-tem Mary Cheh.

    • Michael J. West

      "If Gray did leave office, wouldn't K. Brown become mayor?"


      "And if they both left, then who?"

      Phil Mendelson, being the senior at-large councilmember.

    • http://twitter.com/kcivey Keith Ivey

      Peter, if the position of chairman becomes vacant, the council chooses an acting chair from among the at-large council members. So that would be Catania, Mendelson, Michael A. Brown, or Biddle (or whoever wins the special election, if it's after that). It's happened twice before: in 1993 when Chairman John Wilson killed himself and John Ray was chosen as acting chair (but didn't run in the special election) and in 1997 when Chairman Dave Clarke died and Linda Cropp was chosen (and then won the special election).

    • http://twitter.com/kcivey Keith Ivey

      DCRez, I believe Cheh would take over if Kwame were still in office but unable to discharge his duties as chair, as chair pro tem Charlene Drew Jarvis took over during the three months Dave Clarke was in the hospital before he died.

      Michael, the senior at-large council member is Catania. I don't think seniority is relevant, though.

    • correction

      The senior at-large city Council member is David Catania. Jack Evans is the senior member of the Council.

    • DC Elected Official Crap

      Chairman Brown may be the one who might have to give up his seat if he indeed pocketed funds from his 2008 council campaign. The Office of Campaign Finance has been investigating this for seven months. To help them along here is my two cents.
      1) Obtain certified bank statements showing who was paid and the balance each month;
      2) Match the names on the contributor reports with the amount of contributions received;
      3) Match the expenses on the reports with the names on checks payable by the campaign

      Hopefully, this will help you determine if any of the funds are unaccounted for. If so, refer to the US Attorney's Office asap.

    • wow

      WOW, the WASHINGTON CITY PAPER is calling the WASHINGTON POST out on it's credibility while simultaneously speaking about Sinclair Skinner who has nothing against him but allegations?

      Credibility? Good thing no one reads your paper. How is that $30,000 a year treating you. It's ok. You are taking less money to do real journalism, right? ha

    • wow

      Good thing this publication has a zero viewership! lol

    • Really

      DC Elected crap...trust me! There will be no findings in the report.

    • DCRez

      @wow (e.g.Skinner): blogs have 'readers', television has 'viewers'. Yes, the WP did hit a new low.

      @Keith Ivey: Thx. You are right. Geez, imagine David Catania, closet Republican, becoming Mayor by default.

      I don't believe that Gray will resign. People are fickle and soon forget, 'this too shall pass'. He does, however, need to clean house and start all over in the EOM. His COS pick needs to be a laser focused, politically savvy pit bull. Call up James Carville.

    • noodlez




    • all of this is messy

      @noodlez, do you have a personal vendetta with skinner and karim? ur message comes off with a lot of anger.

    • Southeast Ken

      I am glad to see the Washington City Paper is now mentioning Chertia Whiting. The public would like to know more about this woman and if she lied on her DC Government application to get the $65,000. Gray appointed position.

    • Southeast Ken

      @Peter; DCRez is correct, the Pro-Tem Councilmember Mary Cheh would become mayor and would be the first white female mayor of the District of Columbia.

    • Southeast Ken

      I would drop dead if Miss Catania become mayor. She's a hateful, mean, and vicious human being.


      @wow, you must count yourself as a "0" which is probably on point. CP I commend you for calling that so called giant out, which is really a giant piece of sh#t. They really consider themselves the only dance in town you know, and think that they can get away with what ever they want with minimal backlash. I think it's time for a boycott on them to bring em back down to earth. We all know that this is all about the fact that they couln't control the out come of the election so this is a reach to restore the power of influence they lost.

    • Wendy Washington

      Yes the WaPo has lost what little credibility it had for printing Skinner's editorial.

      It is bad enough when we readers post mis-information or try to pass off opinions as if they were facts, but you fine members of the Fourth Estate are expected to do more than re-hash what others say or print.

      For example, you printed, "Did Patrick Pope, the former principal of Hardy Middle School, try and weed out poor kids from his school? Is that why former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee removed him?"

      Some would say that is twisted -- it was Rhee who sought to transform Hardy Middle School into a community school. That's codespeak for "we really need to turn this into a school for the affluent families that live here -- not kids from elsewhere in the city." If Patrick Pope had worked to create such a positive environment and the students excelled, what would motivate him to change course? Madame Rhee, of course, working at the behest of those who set up coffee klatches and cocktail parties just so they could lobby her and further their interests. Madame Rhee dutifully did their bidding, too.

      @Bigglesworth is on point with the comment regarding Principal Pope's opinion regarding IMPACT. It was also rumored that none of the Hardy teachers signed on to Rhee's ploy of "skip the tenure for a big bonus." Rhee blamed Pope for that and she has demonstrated just how vindictive she can be.

    • Really

      So Al gets 10 points for calling out the washpo. But loses 10 points for not at least linking to Dorothy Brizill newest blog which point us back to several gaffes in the Williams administration.

      This is a must read for all those Fenty acolytes who are running around town screaming "the sky is falling...the sky is falling...this is the worst most corrupt administration EVER. OOOOOOO

      From dcwatch.com:

      “Does anyone who compares Gray unfavorably to Mayor Williams, and who praises Williams for running such a clean administration, remember that Williams fired his first Chief of Staff (Reba Pittman Evans, now Reba Pittman Walker) within the first few months of his administration in the aftermath of the “niggardly” controversy because she recommended that he fire David Howard for using the word, leading to Williams’ becoming a national joke? Remember that he lost his second Chief of Staff (Abdusalam Omar) because an Inspector General’s investigation revealed that he illegally raised $1.5 million, supposedly for a sham nonprofit entity to help at-risk children, that was diverted to the use of the mayor’s office? Remember that he lost his third Chief of Staff (Kelvin Robinson) because an Office of the Special Counsel investigation revealed that he violated the Hatch Act forcing government employees under his control to work in Williams’ campaign and to give money to Williams’ campaign? Does anyone praising Fenty’s honesty and competence remember all his bad appointments of his unqualified buddies, cronies, and sports teammates to his administration and to Boards and Commissions, or remember his reckless overspending of the budget on construction projects?”


    • Really

      Wendy Co-sign! What's most interesting about the whole Hardy debacle is the least know fact is that it just took a dinner party to get the ball rolling to oust Pope. A freakin dinner party.

    • Wendy Washington

      Thanks, @Really! Thanks, too for posting the link to DCWatch. I read that earlier today. All in all, the Williams administration should be considered successful, but there were some mis-steps early on.

      The Gray haters can continue to call for investigations, but let's be real -- how implausible are Sillymon Brown's allegations? The Mayor's race was always a two-man race no matter how many other minor candidates ran. Sillymon only garnered 209 votes. Fenty had already set himself up with many things for his opponents to throw darts at -- from being a photo-ho to the contracts mess. Gray did not need SB's digs at Fenty to win. It is just not logical for a front-runner candidate to be in collusion with a minor candidate in the manner that Sillymon suggests.

    • Wendy Washington

      @S.E. Ken, I am with you -- David the Cantankerous as mayor is unthinkable. Just a Repugnican in Independent's clothing. Is his middle initial V? That would be for vitriol.

    • sinclairskinner

      the council investigation is the only thing that had no credibility. long on allegations zero on wrong doing. harry thomas, ceo team thomas, and vince gray, friends and family plan, started the entire thing to attack the former mayor.

    • Really

      So I see Skinner has learned to use the comment section on the blogs. GOD help us.

      Skinner please stop? Is's starting to look like your money has dried up and you don't have anything to eat off anymore. If anything DC residents should be receiving is an apology from you. You wasted our money with your greed.

      Here are the facts about the contract from the Washpo:

      - The job was to oversee a $50 million renovation of D.C. parks and recreation centers, and a friend and fraternity brother of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's (D) was picked to manage the project. It was a lucrative prize for Fenty's friend, Omar Karim

      -Omar received a $4.2 million management fee, but it also got an unusual second fee that procurement experts say is generous and unorthodox in a public project.

      - The "consultant's markup" gave Karim's firm, Banneker Ventures, 9 percent of fees charged by each subcontractor working on the parks projects. The extra fee could add more than $700,000 to Banneker's earnings.

      - Also Fenty removed Bill Slover, then chairman of the D.C. Housing Authority's board when he learned of the additional fee in the fall. Bill Slover called a special meeting of the board that oversaw the parks project. He urged the panel to halt Banneker's work and withdraw from supervising the project.

      -So hear is how the whole ponzi scheme worked. They subcontracted it out, frequently paying a lot less than they charged the government. For instance, Banneker Ventures -- owned by Fenty frat brother Omar Karim -- paid Liberty Engineering -- owned by Fenty frat brother Sinclair Skinner (who didn't pass his engineering exam) -- $46,800 for a site survey of the Park View Rec Center.

      Skinner's firm was not licensed to do the work, but subcontracted it to Currie & Associates. Currie & Associates was paid approximately $8,000 for doing the actual work. So, Skinner got $38,000 for passing on a contract worth $8,000. Nice work if you can find it (or have it given to you by your frat brother). This pattern was repeated over and over. So, I would suggest that much of the money was, in fact, squandered.

    • Wendy Washington

      @sinclairskinner, perhaps you should not press this issue further. It was reported that you and your cohorts, constantly answered "I can't recall" during the Trout investigation.

      Should this matter be referred for a real investigation, that might result in actual indictments, you might be required to improve your recollection and give truthful responses. Do you really expect us to believe that you ran the business, but could recall nothing about it? In addition to your faulty memory, you had no documentation to refresh your memory? Stop trying to sell us that bridge, you may need the material to continue stonewalling.

    • tony

      Does it bother anyone especially black folks that all the people who are accused of corruption in this city and region are black. I mean damn! Councilmember Jim Graham chief of staff pleaded guilty to bribery and other felonies and there's no effort to hold Mr. Graham accountable. This is the same councilmember that paid for a force abortion for his chief of staff mistress. This is the same councilmember who took tons of gifts and other valuables from a leader of the taxi industry who has since pleaded guilty to several felonies as well. We cry about Chairman Brown driving a fully load SUV and then turn our heads when David Catania gives non-competitive bid contracts to GWU worth millions. We attack Mayor Gray for giving good-paying government jobs to his friends but then support the former mayor who gave contracts to his closes friends worth hundred of millions of dollars. And, Jack Evans has for years maintained a cozy and suspect relationship with the business community which has earned him reprimands from the city authority, and now he has the nerve to condemn the city's black leaders for doing the same thing he did for years almost to perfection. Are u fucking kidding me?

    • David


    • Don’t forget about…

      An Asian-American chancellor and a white principal at odds over poor little black children who are the majority in the school system. Is this the making of fairytale? An Asian-American chancellor and former female black principals at odds over leadership styles, who were the majority in leadership positions. Is this the making of a fairytale #2

      Get Rhee to say-it, she's has nothing to loose. C'mon on out and just say-it that you got rid of Pope because of ....(provide us with the truth). Do you still have to hide under the veil of "it's a personnel matter?" Maybe out of the respect for your BFF Kaya.

    • sinclairskinner

      the washington post reported what was in the shame trout report. they are allegations meant to discredit fenty and his friends. i have never been charged with anything i have just been a victim of a very successful smear campaign. now the chickens are coming home to roost and we all will see who is telling the truth. but the next scam im reporting to the washpost is who now has been contracted to do the parks and rec centers without a bid process and no one is saying how much is being billed to the city. but i guess thats not important because its never really been about the parks and rec centers its really been about how can we destroy peoples reputations in order to advance political agendas, silly me.

    • sinclairskinner

      i forgot "Really" if u really really believe what u are posting dont hide show your REAL name sweetie.

    • DC Guy

      There is a "caps" key on the keyboard. It can be your friend.

    • sinclairskinner

      wendy washington, we disagree but you bring up very thoughtful points. but the problem is like most of us you really think the city council was trying to investigate the DPR capital projects. you believe harry thomas was trying to fight corruption and govt waste. you think trout did the investigation pro bono because he has a true love for DC and justice. you think the report results came out after the election because there so much to analyze. you think gray used the investigation in his campaign because he wanted to end cronyism. you think selecting me one of dozens of subcontractors to contractor with a govt contract to a sworn public deposition with a former federal prosecutor was coincidental or just good government. u think subpoenas of all my bank records personal and business without being indicted or charged with anything is just what all private businesses doing work in the city should expect. u think that the city council only taking my subcontract and sole sourcing it to Virginia and Maryland firms and allowing all the other subcontractors to keep their contracts is just karma. from your vantage point, i can understand why u think im a bad person. the smear campaign worked and even worked better on fenty than me. i lost one contract, he lost an entire career. just because a pro bono lawyer picked by vince gray makes an allegation doesnt make it true.

    • sinclairskinner

      take that dc guy

    • Anonymous

      Sinclair, methinks you protesth too much. You need to slink away and go away. Making a bad name for all that is Kappa.

      Also, I was under the impression, if the Mayor resigns, doesn't Allen Lew, the city administrator, become the mayor? And if KB resigns, then pro-tempore Cheh becomes the chair. Lots of salivating going on. @Tony, I've heard that before, that the Post etc. is going behind the respected African-American men in the city. IDK why.

    • JimA

      SKINNER has no credibility.

      Skinner is the same racist who criticized Jim Graham just because Graham is White. Yet, Jim Geraham has done more to help people in DC of all races than Skinner ever can.

      le Skinner keep talking; nobody takes him seriously.

      SCOTT BOLDEN? DC's voters hahve already made it clear what they think of Scott Bolden. Bolden was crushhd in all 8 DC Wards in his Council election a few years ago.

    • Pingback: Loose Lips Daily: Sinclair Skinner, the WaPo’s Credibility Killa? Edition | Travel News

    • Wendy Washington

      Here is the best, absolutely best description (thus far) of the Skinner's pseudo-editorial:

      It describes the editorial as laughable and "the rough equivalent of an op-ed piece by Bernie Madoff exonerating his behavior because of economic failures elsewhere, ignoring his own complicity and unethical, illegal, or corrupt behavior."

      Here is the link to read the entire article:

    • tony

      I never thought I would see the day that sinclair skinner would sell out his people. It seems that skinner has soul his soul to the very same people that he has condemn for so many in his quest to take down a "black" man. Oh Sinclair IS NOW DOING THE BIDDING ON THE "MAN".

    • tony

      CORRECTION: I never thought I would see the day that sinclair skinner would sell out his people. It seems that skinner has SOLD his soul to the very same people that he has condemn for so many YEARS in his quest to take down a "black" man. Oh Sinclair IS NOW DOING THE BIDDING ON THE "MAN".

    • http://citypaper Tony

      Hey Tony, Skinner has never exhibited the type of character that would prevent him from selling his demonistic soul.

    • wow

      Tony is a freggin idiot

    • Choco-tpwn

      Dorothy Brizil is a damn joke, DC Watch looks like the grandma's investigation club...she has yet to report anything on the scandal of the new administration, and still has pictures up from the write in up. She's on the payroll, and wont go after her "sugar plum" vice gray