Loose Lips

It’s Not That I Don’t Trust You…

How's this for romance: Last December, the transition team of then Mayor-elect Vince Gray ordered a full background check of Gray's girlfriend, Linda Greene.

Among the 800 or so emails that were released yesterday to the D.C. Council committee investigating hiring practices in the Gray administration is a note from private investigator Ken Cummins (the very first Loose Lips), notifying Gray transition chairwoman Lorraine Green that his company was still waiting to be paid for vetting work it had done for Gray.

Along with the email are attached individual invoices for each person who was investigated. Cummins' company charge $350, $750, and $1,500 per investigation, depending on how thorough a dossier the Gray team wanted. For example: Attorney General Irv Nathan got the $350 deal, while someone like Sulaimon Brown got the $1,500 treatment.

Since you're probably now asking, Greene's background investigation cost $1,500.

"Early on there was some interest in considering her for the position of Secretary for the District of Columbia," says Green (Lorraine) via email, on why Team Gray was interested in vetting Greene (Linda). "Ms. Greene ultimately decided she was not interested in being considered. We conducted backgrounds on several people that in the end, for various reasons, were not selected for positions."

Phew, it's a good thing Greene decided she didn't want the job. It's one thing to have a few children of the politically connected on your payroll, but your girlfriend...

That's not to say that Greene, who has worked in District government for many years, was unqualified. It's just that we've all learned by now that perception matters in city hiring, right? So the fact that Greene was even considered for a job underscores the fact that someone working for Gray—though it's still not entirely clear exactly who—was wayyy out to lunch on these kind of thorny issues back in the early days when the administration was making its personnel decisions.

(Side note: LL isn't sure whether Greene and Gray are still seeing each other, because LL doesn't spend that much time keeping track of the mayor's personal life.)

Green also shows up later in the batch of emails, around the time LL wrote this post about her work for a businessman who was trying to buy the United Medical Center.

"I do not talk to her about government business and she has not asked me to do anything related to government business," Gray wrote to his spokeswoman.

  • Truth Hurts

    This blog implies that Gray didn't know his girlfriend wanted him and/or his administration to hire her.

    The odds of that scenario being true are about the same as the odds of two comets colliding.


  • Drez

    C'mon, TH. It's perfectly reasonable to assume that the Gray Machine paid to have background checks done on every possibly qualified political hire in the entire city (and suburbs), isn't it? You know, just in case?

  • Drez

    Oh, and they spent $1500 researching SB and the still hired his sociopathic ass?
    That's pretty telling, isn't it?
    He'll, there's probably 200 people in this city that would have warned them off for free.

  • Truth Hurts

    check email

  • Hypocrite Much?

    Here's the million dollar question! Does this Investigative Company have the signed "permission/authorization" forms from each individual that those whose backgrounds checks were done on?

    I ask because an a former Manager, I have personal knowledge of the fact that it is ILLEGAL and a LAWSUIT in the making if a list of those who background checks were done on were done without their signed consent/authorization.

    This rogue group of "unprofessional, so called professionals" leaves a lot of questions unanswered about what they did, did not do, knew, and did not know.

    How dare an HR Director discuss someone's weight as a determining factor of employment. Who are these women, they don't even seem human?

  • Rake

    This rogue group of "unprofessional, so called professionals" leaves a lot of questions unanswered about what they did, did not do, knew, and did not know.

    @HM - you would think that in 20 plus years an an "HR" executive, even at a company as troubled as Amtrak, Lorraine Green would have learned SOMETHING.

    Alas, this One Citidiot band of misfit toys is neither professional, nor competent. Thank God these morons aren't in charge of running a city... wait, what?!?!

  • What the flocka???

    Politician talk and pillow-talk are all the same in the city.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    So you douchebags are upset because Gray wanted to vet people, even those close to him. Even if this wouldn't have mattered in the end or the possibility that Cummins services suck balls- come on, $1500 for S. Brown, with his shady past tattoed on his forehead, and he was still given a job; I'm still happy Gray made the attempt to properly vet these guys.

    How much effort did Fenty make when hiring Jannarone and company, appointing dozens of unqualified friends to various boards, and Michelle Rhee (who's spotty record has finally come out). I guess you assholes wouldn't have mind this though, but up in arms for Gray "wasting" money to do background checks on people close to him. You fucking hypocrites.

  • Rake

    @Adrian, who is the mayor now, Fenty or Gray? I must be confused. Let go, you'll feel better (and be less angry).

    I'm not up in arms about background checks. However for the price paid, you'd think they would have turned up any number of the fiascos Sillymon has been involved in.

    The larger point, to me, is the email traffic between a "HR Executive" and Transition team officials (a) performing background checks without apparent consent, and (b) commenting on physical characteristics of prospective employees, etc. So bush league - and yet, completely expected.

  • Skipper

    Amazing. The fact that these idiots even considered putting Gray's bed buddy on the DC gov't payroll is simply criminally stupid.

  • Frazier

    So Sulimon Brown got the detailed "$1,500" investigation and they STILL maintained he was qualified, and they were unaware of his criminal past?

    The lies are ludicrous. Either the private investigator didn't do anything, or they hired him knowing his past.


  • noodlez



  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Rake- I figured you would be confused, it's ok. It's what we've come to expect from you.

    My point is simple- you douchebags will take anything Gray and camp does and find ways to criticize to no end. Remember when the Sillymon fiasco initially broke, some of you idiots were out in force demanding to know why he wasn't vetted. Now that it's been revealed that he was investigated, you idiots, are up in arms. It's hypocrisy.

    But as pissed off as I may get now and again over you and your fentites stupidity, all I have to do is remember that you all will be angry for almost 4 more years and I feel much better. Muahahahaha.

  • drez

    Speaking of douches, ABM, do you realize that you still define your online existence as being bent by someone who is no longer mayor? When will you join 2011? When Gray staffers get indicted by the FBI, or will you wait until they release their "200 day plan"?

  • Walter Washington

    @Adrian, I don't remember Fenty ever hiring any of his mayoral opponents. Can you remind me when that happened?

    Comparing his (confirmed by Council) appointment of Michelle Rhee to head DC Public Schools to hiring Sulaimon Brown is absurd. Rhee may be controversial, but she is a qualified education professional. Sulaimon Brown hadn't held a job in years, and fell into a 100K+ position. The text messages that WaPo published support that Gray had personal knowledge of this transaction.

    It's in nobody's best interest to have such corruption at the very top of government. Why would you possibly defend it?

  • Rake

    @ADM, And your criticism of FORMER mayor fenty is different from what you ascribe to critics of Gray how, pray tell?

    And what of this "HR" executive's emails. We all know that HR is the corporate version of special ed, but seriously, nothing in Lorraine's emails troubles you, or her outright lies concerning her role in both the administration or the transition committee?

    Still pushing the whole Anti Gray = Pro Fenty meme, I see. Eh, it's intellectually lazy, but if that's what you've got, then run with it I guess.

    Ultimately, I want to see DC run efficiently, by an executive with vision, not a doddering middle manager with no record of achievement (in government) to speak of. Sadly, that's too much to ask. Equally sadly, the One Citidiot base will be the party most harmed by Vince's continued failings.

  • drez

    the One Citidiot base will be the party most harmed by Vince's continued failings.
    Yes. With the exception of a favored few who get high paying make-work assignments, there is really not much in the offering for those who voted Mayor Gray into office. Agency budgets have been cut. Unfilled staff positions will remain unfilled. There are fewer dollars for public works projects or basic infrastructure maintenance. Education dollars have been cut. There is little or no money to mentor at risk youth. First Source is a structural failure, yet promises to enforce and not overhaul/rewrite it are made.
    And, as usual, those who have money and means are insulated from the worst of these things. I won't be angry over the next four years, but I will be sad.

  • TheAngryVoter

    not surprised at all


  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Rake- explain to me how Fenty was running the City efficiently? Running very fast with no thought as to where you are going and what it might cost to get there isn't efficiency. It's push stupidity. That was the only direction Fenty was heading.

    Gray, as Council Chair was a far more considerate individual as to what things cost and how to ensure that we could afford the rate Fenty wanted to travel at.

    If Fenty had only scandals attached to him, but was running the City properly, that's one thing. He wasn't, while engaging in shady behavior.

    Gray's scandals don't overshadow what he's trying to do and that is get the City back on fiscal track.

    Drez- with as douchy of a name as this, you shouldn't be criticizing anyone else's handle.

    Walter Washington- I'm with you on the Sillymon issue. No excuses, no defending, but defending Rhee after the wave of shit that's now coming out about her. Come on man. She's nothing but a phony and thus the reason of the Republican party now.

  • Rake

    Fenty Fenty Fenty, always Fenty, ABM. It's unhealthy - this obsession of yours. Find something new, like join Team Edward or Team Jacob prior to the next twilight coming out or something

    Please point to me where I said that DC has had an efficient (or visionary) mayor and now we have an inefficient one - and further, that the visionary, efficient mayor we had was your obsession. You'll be looking a long time...

    Oh, and BTW, who approved FORMER mayor Fenty's budgets? I'm not sure - did the council chair play a role? And now that same guy is going to get the city back on fiscal track, just like he got DHS back on track, right?

    Too easy.

  • Wendy Washington

    LL, you should be careful about assigning status to folks. What verification/substantiation do you have that Linda Greene is indeed the Mayor's "girlfriend"? Or that she ever was? (That may be why Dan Snyder is pursuing his lawsuit.)

    noodlez, thanks for the perfect comparison in comment #12

    ABM, I co-sign your comment #13, it was absolutely on point.

    Walter Washington (no relation to me) -- Fenty's hiring of the totally unqualified Michelle Rhee is indeed a valid comparison. Rhee with a whole three years teaching experience leading a school system as complex as DCPS?

    Why the Council did nothing to block her appointment, is something that should be explained. As I recall, Fenty did not bother to include the Council in the selection process, he simply presented her to Council (at a very late hour).

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Rake- you douches are really something huh? First, Gray is the devil because of every and any thing he does. Then, when his predecessor is used as a point of reference, you bitches get your panties in a bunch. The truth seems to be that you all just can't handle nor defend what Fenty did, so you try to ignore by claiming an obsession on those of us who actual do care to remember what happened. The bizarre part of all of this is that you're criticizing Gray solely because of your own obsession with Fenty. You might as well just use the handle "Josh Lopez" and get it over with.

    Oh, just to point out another one of those little things that you often choose to ignore but Gray approved a budget after making drastic changes to Fenty's proposed one. Year after year that was done. So, yeah, if you don't really understand how it works, I can break it down further for you pal. But even then, I doubt you would even care.

  • Drez

    Gray approved a budget after making drastic changes to Fenty's proposed one. Year after year that was done
    So it's Gray's fault the discretionary portion of the rainy day fund has been spent.
    Good to know, thanks.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Drez- Thank you for yet again proving you douchebagery and go ahead, keep believing what you want. No amount of facts will convince you otherwise.

  • James Ward 2

    @ABM - Gray did not make drastic changes to Mayor Fenty's proposed budgets. Gray spoke a lot of political rhetoric, but if you examine the actual numbers and other budget data, it objectively verifies that nearly all of the proposed budgets by Mayor Fenty remained mostly intact.

    But I digress, ABM incessantly defends Gray by attacking a former Mayor. This sort of ad hominem argument is weak, and as Rake mentioned, it is intellectually lazy. Then again, ABM calls those disagreeing with him 'douches' and 'bitches' instead of making strong arguments...

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    James- talking out your ass doesn't prove anything. You're calling me intellectually lazy when you don't even bother to make sure your claim is accurate. Tisk, tisk.


    I stand by my statements and none of you have been able to disprove anything I've said. All you do is try to ignore reality by creating your own.

    Unfortunately indeed, but it's what I can expect from bitches and douchebags.

  • Rake

    @ABM, I have one comment in the moderation queue, but here's another - funny to cite the DCFPI (Ed Lazere's credentials are a joke), as the first lines of their report state:

    The Council restored just over $20 million of Mayor Fenty’s proposed cuts and added just over
    $500,000 to fund a new Deputy Mayor for Public Safety office and a new DC Open Government

    So um, yeah, Vince was reiging in Mayor Meanie's spending. Or something. Not really.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Rake- how is his credential a joke and what in the report is not accurate exactly? You all offer nothing but your opinions and when presented with actual data, it's not good enough.

    Get real, I'm done arguing with you douches. My point's been made and all of your collective responses still have not proven any of yours. That's more than opinion, that's a fact. Douches.

  • Rake

    I never said the report wasn't acccurate. Did you somehow not read the first pages of Ed's report, where Vince and the council approved RESTORING Fenty's proposed budget cuts to the tune of $20M? That's somehow not actual data?

    Enjoy your weekend. Maybe Hot Topic makes Vince posters to go along with your well-worn Fenty dartboard?

  • Truth Hurts

    ABM went off his meds a couple months ago. Although he appeared to be stablizing right after the election (even temporarily changed the ABM handle), his obsession with DC's former mayor was too powerful to resist. It's an addiction he simply can't break. Pitiful.

  • DBrighthaupt

    @What the Flocka - #7 Funny!

    "I do not talk to her about government business and she has not asked me to do anything related to government business," Gray wrote to his spokeswoman."

    ....and Gray wrote that.... to his spokeswoman.....to speak?

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  • Really?

    ABM....you know that there are rules for us and rules for them.

    Rhee wasn't qualified if we look at the fact that she had to have a PHD to be a superintendent. She had an background in eduaction.

    Kelly Valentine *cough* Michelle Fenty's friend was hired with out the proper background and stole $8.7 million.

    So this outrage is fake....

    Carry on ABM.

  • seDCdude


    OH really!

    Do tell, why this outrage is MISPLACED and racially motivated!

    ABM I usually don't agree with ya, but I concur 100%...this newfound "culture" in DC is not healthy if we are looking to move forward in support and beneficial to ALL!

    Whites are scared and reluctant while minorities are searching for a way...totally and utter polar opposites!

    Truth Hurt and Rake would LOVE for JEWS to forget the HOLOCAUST and act as if it never happened!

    Yeah right!

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