Loose Lips

Why was Webb Fired?

Part of the reason Department of Employment Services Acting Director Rochelle Webb was fired today was allegedly for approving inappropriate moving expenses for some of her aides who came with her to the District from Arizona, according to a Wilson Building source who has been briefed on Webb's dismissal. The items Webb's aides bought included a TV, furniture and towels, according to the source, who says Webb allegedly signed off on the purchases.

The source adds that some of Webb's aides may have received large salary increases to go with their new District gigs, compared to their previous positions in Arizona, where Webb was the administrator of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Couple of things to note: LL put in Freedom of Information Act requests last week for documents related to Webb and some (but possibly not all) of her Arizona aides' moving expenses. LL filed with both DOES and the CFO's office. LL hasn't heard back from DOES. The CFO's office provided LL with receipts for Webb's stay at the W Hotel downtown, but said there were no records of moving expenses for the aides.

LL is sure there will be more details coming out shortly. (One might assume that the Gray communications shop might try and get all the bad info out at once on a Friday afternoon. Not so.) In the meantime, LL will ponder a few open questions: 1) What does Webb's dismissal mean for the troubled summer youth employment program? Mayor Vince Gray tasked Webb with making the program run smoothly. Her successor will only have a few months to get things right, and Gray can probably ill-afford to have the summer jobs program go off the rails.

2) Who is going to take the fall for Webb's hiring? Former Chief of Staff Gerri Mason Hall has already been thrown under the bus.

3) What is for dinner? LL is famished.

  • Southeast Ken

    What a mess this is turning into! This is a Soap Opera that should be entitled, 'As The District Turns'.

  • GhettoConfucius

    !) maybe only you would assume this, others of us are avoid watching the Gray&KRB train wreck till you press folks shove it in our faces. There's a pattern here, it's not the least bit logical or rational, but surely it's just the beginning... "One might assume that the Gray communications shop might try and get all the bad info out at once"

    2) SYEP is meant to be dysfunctional, now that's guaranteed for at least another year; if we didn't have "the youf" running wild in the city, our unemployment level would be about double whatever it is now.

    3) Webb was clearly straight up ghetto/nuveau riche, but she seems to have that in common with a lot of Gray's folk not held over from the Fenty Admin.

    Gray is definitely one term now. Can't fire enough people to save himself. I wonder if Biddle can disinfect himself before Four26.

  • Cherita Whiting Lives

    There is more to this story. I just know it. All the talk of relocation expenses is small in the grand scheme of things. Why would the Mayor fire someone he has championed for the past three months. Who is advising him? And why am i Cherita Whiting still employed. don't you guys know I'm a felon?

  • Cherita’s Gone

    Actually, Cherita is no longer employed... The story just hasn't broken yet. Check it out LL.

  • http://www.dcwatch.com/election2010/101222.htm Laughing&Crying

    "we must have a Department of Employment Services that focuses on reducing high unemployment as opposed to being a place known for where people [like ex-DOES interim director Rochelle Webb] file for unemployment" VGC

    perhaps Gray is just reading from a script like Fenty was (but who is writing the script?):

    Another top priority for my administration is getting D.C. jobs for D.C. residents. For that to happen, we must have a Department of Employment Services that focuses on reducing high unemployment as opposed to being a place known for where people file for unemployment.

    To that end, I am nominating Rochelle L. Webb as the DOES Director.

    Dr. Webb has more than 20 years of leadership experience in implementing state and federal initiatives related to employment and human services in Arizona and Texas.

    Since 2006, Webb has been the Administrator for the Arizona Department of Economic Security in Phoenix. She served as a deputy program administrator for two prior years.

    That agency provides oversight of state employment programs, including veterans services, federal workforce investment, and foreign labor certification.

    Dr. Webb is the President of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, a professional organization of state employment administrators.

    Webb has a Doctor of Management Degree from the University of Phoenix, an MPA from San Francisco State University and a B.S. from the University of North Texas.

    Upon confirmation, Dr. Webb will lead a dramatic transformation of the District’s Department of Employment Services to equip our residents with the tools necessary to get off the unemployment rolls and into the job market.

  • Maximillian

    Good Riddance! Ever since she came to the District, Director Webb did nothing but burn bridges and throw her employees under the bus. She didn't deserve the position in the first place...this move only affirms that sentiment.

    And someone please tell me why she demands that DOES employees refer to her as Doctor???? I'm sorry...University of Phoenix....really???

  • Southeast Ken


  • Southeast Ken

    Will she be eligible for unemployment?? LOL LOL

  • CostofLiving

    If you are moving from Arizona, you have to make 34% more in salary to just break even in DC. Not to make more, just to break even. Thats a fact of cost of living.

  • Lenonn

    I have a friend who moved from Arizona, brought by Ms. Webb to DC to be part of the department. I just wish the media was covering all parts of this story, not just the mayor's POV. They really need to talk to the people IN the department to get the whole story.

  • Southeast Ken

    I am a native Washingtonian and I have never thought about leaving home to take another job in another city. This woman packed up everything and moved to D.C. from Arizona. One would think, she would have something in writing to guarantee something like this would not happen. I can't imagine being offered a job in Miami, Florida and I pack up my wife, kids, and move there to be later told within a few weeks, I am terminated. I know, people move to different cities all the time for employment. This would be devastating to me. At least here in D.C., if I am terminated from a position, I have family, friends, and I know my way around the city.

  • John Rambo

    Maybe she should have thought about how "heartbroken" she would be when she frivolously spent all the taxpayer money.

  • LOL

    yeah she should have thought that through. these people just lack tact and strategy.

  • samantha

    Sounds like she was getting rid of the embedded, unqualified Fentyites who were put in career positions illegally when he lost the primary . To the victor , go the spoils . Research every Fentyite's position and changes to career slots not advertised and their "made up resume's. Fire them and the budget shortfall is cut gy 50% . Play Real Politics and CLEAN HOUSE !

  • Southeast Resident

    It is a good thing that Gray got Queen W out of the way. I don't think that he can take another scandel. Queenie was already starting to have too much baggage. Son given a government job, approving personal expenses for aides, approving higher salaries for aides, and chauffeur. All of this before she could get some DC folks put to work. Hell with all she wasted some DC folks could have been put to work with a government job.

    The next a** Gray should put out to pasture is Bill Howland over at DPW. He is way past his shelf life. Why would he cut inspectors when they could improve sanitation and raise some revenue from ticketing violators? If he wanted to fill a budget hole or contribute to the cause, he could eliminate all of those SUVs and other gas guzzling sedan leases that he signed off on since 2004. Those agency directors can drive their own cars to work and pay for their own gas like every other citizen.

  • Southeast Ken

    I agree Southeast Resident, Bill Howland's ass need to go along with Cherita Whiting.

  • Sad does employee

    This is a sad day....she did not do anything bad at all..this is alll rumors, I worked with Rochelle Webb and she was doing a great job at does and already making major changes for the better....the interim direct is a cold b$&ch and conniving...SheHas been in does for many years...she makes 150k a year while dr. Webb made 165k, I have seen all of the does salaries and you would not even believe what current looser employes who have done nothing for years get paid...ms Mallory is one of these well connected people, her fiancé is the fire chief...funny how know one noticed that or mentioned that...if she could run the agency why did they not just put her in the position to begin with....truth is does will continue to be a second rate agency..dr. Webb(by the way she wanted everyone to call her Rochelle, down to the hired cleaning crew, not ms Webb or dr Webb, like all these idiots in this office insist on) is a wonderful person who is the unfortunate person who is taking the fall for nothing....all her expenses were approved by dchr's director is a lying idiot....truth will come out...

  • Sad does employee

    And by the way no one in does can spend any money unless it is approved by dchr, the city administrator and the deputy direct of of operations who happens to be the new interim director, did I mention that the new interim director was the person who made the suggestion for dr webb to stay at the w hotel....shady if you ask me....dr Webb never spend any money with out approval....thank about that

  • borinquen

    The first thing WEbb did was cut $600,000 of the Latino school kids from the SYEP. Now I can see cutting some positions but to completely eliminate our school kids from the program I considered treacherous and mean spirited. Kids who have no defense and who did no one wrong.Cut to ribbons. I wondered what kind of a human being would do that to school children? And I remembered one of my greatest heroes in history who moves me to this day. And he said "judge not a person by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."And I did and she failed miserably. Yes storms were gathering and a group of us tried to meet with her to seek redress and she refused to meet with us using her staff as cover and not willing to support her position before the people.Little did we know that this flaw was also manifesting itself elsewhere and that the people of the District of Columbia were spared a caloused and mean spirited person to head such an important department.
    incredibly we found out this person came from Arizona and had brought that same illness and virus to DC that some exhibited there against the immigrant poor.There is eternal justice because this person would have divided our people in the district of Columbia and we are not going to allow any one to do that! Let us press on DC!

  • Southeast Ken

    @Sad does employee; are you a recent graduate of D.C. Public Schools. Your grammar, spelling, and writing skills are that of a 8 year old.

  • Southeast Ken

    @Sad Does Employee; are you a recent graduate of D.C. Public Schools? Your grammar, spelling, and writing skills are that of a 8 year old.

  • Southeast Ken

    @borinqeun; are you referring to illegal aliens? You do know, there's a difference between and immigrant and an illegal alien. I am assuming, you are Puerto Rican and Ricans aka Boricuas are U.S. citizens. Why in the hell is a Puerto Rican defending illegal aliens? All Hispanics are not the same and some are citizens, legal residents, and illegal.

  • Sad does employee

    Hey Ken, That's all u can say??? Wow....I am a long time dc resident, and I can tell you are too because u don't address the issues, u refer to my grammar...sad....

  • Hrm…

    Money for step is determined by the council....she could not cut money for any groups or race....if the kids are illegal than that's too bad, they needed to prove residency.....kids need valid ss#s so that they can pay taxes...you must be from ward one...

  • Karma

    Dr.Webb got exactly what was coming to her! she manipulated her way as well as others with unethical acts long before she left Arizona. It was a pleasure to see her relocate to include the others that were led by her coattail leaving thierlongtime positions with AZ Dept Economic Security, all done out of greed. I just hope they dont return, thier all yours D.C.

  • NoMoney

    Hey if she was going to cut programs that used tax payer money on illegal immigrant programs, I'm all for it. If the city didn't have a deficit, that's one thing. But when we are cash strapped, programs like that need to go!

  • Hypocrite Much?

    There is a bigger question here; the question is; was Rochelle Webb the best candidate or was she the best relative of Lorraine Green. Yes, Rochelle Webb is related to none other than Ms. Lorraine Green.

    Director Webb was let go at an opportune time, right before Councilmember's Cheh, Catania, Evans, etc. could ask the all important question; "how did you get on Mayor Gray's radar for this appointment," was it your relative Lorraine Green who selected you and placed your son in a DC government agency, while DC government tax paying citizens sit on the unemployment roles of the agency that you are supposed to oversee.

    Why would a Director of an agency that is supposed put DC tax paying residents on Unemployment Compensation back to work, bring in staffers from Arizona and her son and place them in jobs that clearly could and should be filled by qualified DC residents, regardless of whether or not Lorraine Green has a personal relationshp or personal liking for that DC tax paying resident or not.

    Good Riddance to Dr. Webb, yet another family member of Lorraine Green. That is the story that The City Paper is sleepin on!

  • Five To Go

    Wow, what a week! Why is Kaya Henderson still employed? She needs to go, too!

  • TomFoolery

    @hypoctie much

    Rochelle Webb is not related to anyone in DC you idiot!

  • Brahmin

    I think your sources are wrong--as a policy DC does not offer moving expense. Only rara selectees are provided moving expenses--so I really would like to see what you say is appropriate.

  • RacistAndBlack

    I hate telling you I told you so, but I told you that this ghetto black class of people Gray would bring back to DC was going to be trouble.

  • DC Is Watching

    ..... and Biddle drives a Navigator! WTF, is that the car of choice for politicians from Wilson... LMAO

  • Sickof ItAll

    @DC is Watching - Kwame fully loaded Brown did not attend Wilson SHS - He attended Phelps!! He lied about attending Wilson! Navigators are the vehicle of choice for Bammas!!

  • Southeast Ken

    Sickof ItAll; did Kwame Brown lie about attending Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland or did he attend UDC?

  • Southeast Ken

    There are so many lies going on. Kwame is a liar!!! DPW Bill Howland ass need to go too.

  • Native Washingtonian

    As a recent former employee of DOES I have some things that people need to know. First of all the Fenty Administration has to take some of the blame for the situation at DOES.

    DOES has had six differnt Directors since 2007 Susan Gilbert-Interim, Summer Spencer, Director, Tene Dolphin Acting, Joseph Walsh Director, Rochelle Webb, Acting Director, Lisa Mallory Interim Director.

    This translates into six different leadership, styles, personalities, agenda's priorities, vision, executive personel and cultural changes at the agency.

    Employee moral, focus and approach to work has suffured from all of these changes. Employees have also had to suffer from seeing people brought in making more money than people who should have been promoted from within or derserved promotions because of their work.

    Employees have been looked down on, not spoken to, not given an understanding of the direction of the agency, not trained, not thanked for things that have gone right, jobs threatened because of political ties, fired for no reason, reassigned with no justification, treated wrong because the manager was having a bad day, not given the opportunity to make suggestions, not evaluated, not given work to do etc. etc. Some of the Directors wouldnt even speak to you.

    The 2008 summer youth program failed because the Office of Contracts and Procurement did not approve contracts that would have placed 2,000 youth in slots. This was the week before the program was supposed to start.

    Also the Fenty administration was so pressed to have their own enrollment system that they switched enrollment systems days before the start of the program. They dumped information from one system to another before scrubbing the data so thus you have adults, youth who didnt sign up and uncertified youth being dumped in the system and recieving debit cards, job assignments and being contacted via e-mails and the robocall system. How do you do this days before the program is supposed to start.

    Then less not talk about the payroll system whic was so messed up that you could pay kids on one day but there wasnt a mechanism to verify that the time was loaded so they blanked paid everybody including those that were too old, not signed up and not actually working. The Director Spencer and the youth program director did not want these last minute changes and were begging for the higher ups to do something but they didnt listen. So thus you have a jacked up 2008 Summer Program.

    Even in DOES now you have employees who do little work making more than people who work their behinds off. They need to do a desk audit on some people and make them justify the money they make. How demoralizing is it to have a bunch of work to do and you sit across from someone who does little to nothing. They may have been moved from another office or were about to get fired but someone even a City Council member pulled some strings for them to keep their job.

    DC has one of the worst UI repsonse rates in the country. It takes many people weeks to get their claims responded to.But there are rumors of people in the UI office getting raises.(Go Figure)

    The One Stop Centers are a joke. What type of services from several different providers can you get at a One -Stop Center. Isnt that the purpose of a one stop. The Council and the Mayor should send in secret customers to see what type of services they would get.

    I could go on and on the council needs to let employees come down there and tell the real story. I will give more info next week.

  • Hypocrite Much?

    Oh, and in another note, does no one wonder why the DOES CFO , Chief of Staff (Stephanie Reich) and Special Assisant to the Director (LeRoy Ellis) are not on the termination chopping block considering that each of these people should have be able to counsel their Director on the correct methods and protocol for making purchases and hiring practices.

    Looks like Stephanie Reich has continued her reign of terror on DC residents by inserting herself into an agency that she has no experience with nor interest in returning DC residents back to work. How many people remember how disrespectful and clueless she was when she worked for Chairman Linda Cropp.

  • Another SE Resident

    @Southeast Ken, don't insult my child who goes to DCPS. That DOES employee writes worse than my 8-year-old.

    And I agree, Howland's an idiot. Why would he get rid of the inspectors and recycling folks who keep our SE streets clean? SMDH.

  • Another SE Resident

    @Sickof ItAll Kwame attended Phelps but he graduated from Wilson SHS. Where you getting your crappy info from. Big deal if he attended Phelps on a program.

  • Southeast Ken

    LOL@Another SE Resident; I do apologized.

  • NU78

    How did all this stuff get past our $300,000/year city administrator?

  • I voted for Fenty (you dumb asses)

    First off this is what you all get. You all talked all that shit about Fenty and were upset about building schools, libraries and dog parks. You accused him of giving out contracts to individuals and jumped on Gray's crooked ass bandwagon. Well let us look at what has come out since the election:
    1 - The Bennett Report cleared Fenty of any wrong doing
    2 - Gray's former bottom bitch Alexander was stealing money slated for her poor residents
    3 - Gray's do boy Thomas still aint gave up that financial report, yeah who's ever expecting that to come
    4 - Most of his senior staff is over paid and he brought back a bunch of old crooks
    5 - He is already raising taxes
    6 - Wards 5, 7 & 8 aint getting shit out of a Wal-Marts out of this

    You know as a third generation Washingtonian I should be upset but I'm just laughing because you dumb asses asked for this and you got it. You know you all should be careful what you ask for because in DC you all always get worse.

  • Southeast Ken

    Cherita Whiting leaves D.C. job. Washington City Paper, why haven't you reported on this individual? You have dug up dirt on everyone else.


  • Really

    @I voted for Fenty (you dumb asses)

    This is what your dumb ass voted:

    Care of another commenter...

    -400k doggy parks

    -Maintaining friendships with Moten types who intimidate citizens and elected officials

    -using police resources to stop traffic so that his friends can ride bikes

    -maintained associates with I don’t recall Sinclair Skinner and OMG Karim aka Banneker Associates Bandits who also worked with David Jannarone aka Fire truck man

    - OCTO Scandal (google Yusuf Acar) multimillion-dollar embezzlement scam w/kickbacks, contract steering and ghost employees. Yusuf plead guilty to the federal

    -handling of the Banita Jacks case. Fired workers without knowing the true extent of how their case loads had jumped.

    - D.C. tax office scandal ($20 million)

    -Moves David Jannaron (fire truck man aka) to be second in charge at DHCD

    -Federal investigation opened investigation on ANOTHER employee in the city's workers' compensation agency

    -Planned to cut housing for homeless families in lieu extending Summer youth one week

    -Security fee’s waive for some events. D.C. doesn’t collected need revenue. An example is the $485,000 fee waived for the National Marathon alone. In hard times like these are these wise decisions? Also how does the administration determine who is waived and who is not.

    -Vetoing the pay-to-vote bill based on recommendations from his **cough** volunteer campaign strategist, thugnificant…gov’t name Ron Moton.

    -Director of DDOT also owner of Zip Cars…conflict of interest?

    -Using gov’t resources (i.e voter registration mailers) to mail Fenty Campaign information.

    - The average number of Freedom of Information Act requests wholly denied by the city has quadrupled under Fenty, while the average number of requests has stayed constant to previous administrations

    - Fenty administration takes more than four years to implement the living wage bill.

    -Inclusionary zoning law (one for affordable housing) too almost 3 yrs to develop and implement regulations.

    I added the following to lildiva4u’s list:

    - Per Fenty’s directive, the dept. of recreation’s director did not apply for federal funds for its daycare program, which forced a 30 year, gold star program to close its doors and 160 gov’t employees were fired.

    - Fenty’s frat brother’s, Skinner, marked-up on services he provided to the gov't by 500% for the construction of recreation centers

    - Faux cause oriented fees-- bag tax, increase parking fees for HPAP, etc--- that are diverted to cover Fenty’s overspending

    - DHCD’s non-bid, sole source, $4.4 million loan to Peaceoholics to buy real estate. I thought Peaceoholics was in the beef-squashing business, not real estate development.

    - $1 Million dollar bike rate @ Union Station

    - The Warrenton Group, another crony of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, handed a $1 million landscaping give-a-way for the West End Library.

    -Fenty forcing well established construction companies such as William C. Smith and Landex Corp to partner with his cronies, the Warrenton group and Banneker Venture, to win taxpayer funded construction projects.

    - Fenty justifying his attendance at an anti-Semitic, tennis match in Dubai by stating, “ Serena Williams was also there.”

    - Fenty not disclosing that his wife was working for the Nat’l Capital Revitalization Corp (NCRC)

    - Mrs. Fenty working as a real estate attorney at NCRC and she’s not a real estate lawyer, but a global tech. attorney

    - Mrs. Fenty billing the government for writing emails and talking on the phone.

  • Southeast Ken

    Really, your last comment was a book. LOL LOL

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/looselips/2011/04/01/why-webb-was-fired/#comment-16912 SW AZ GRL

    The only people that are praising Rochelle Webb are her pals. I worked within the EA at DES in AZ with her. Let me tell you she is a ruthless B%@CH, she will and does walk all over everyone to get what she wants. She is a liar, a cheat and by the way we all laughed when she received her doctorate at Phoenix College, a city college, might as well have gone to a Community College. AND YES she wants everyone to refer to her as DOCTOR WEBB. Check out her correspondence from when she was here in AZ. DES has not filled her position in AZ, let see if she is ablt to return to her 3 month vacant positiion. The "leaders" that occupy Ms. Webb's vacant position are as offensive, untruthful and underhanded as she is. EA in AZ has lost many great people due to the antics of MS> Webb and her entourage. Someone has to take a close look at Department of Economic Security-EA and learn how badly it is run due to Webb and others that are still employed at DES.
    She and her friends deserve everything they get and I do hope more bad KARMA comes there way. In fact I am sure it will follow them as they have done a grave disservice to the people of Arizona.

  • James Johnson

    bring back Daryl Hardy damm it!!!!