Peaceoholics Not Guilty (Of Anything Too Serious)
Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander isn't the only D.C. Council candidate who can say they were recently cleared of serious wrongdoing.
Ron Moten and Jauhar Abraham, candidates in Ward 7 and Ward 8 respectively, have been cleared by the D.C. Auditor of any egregious violations, according to a new audit of their anti-youth violence organization Peaceoholics.
Alexander asked the auditor to look into Peaceoholics and Moten last summer, including what role Peaceoholics played in last year's mayoral election. Nearly a year later, the auditor's final report, which punted questions about Peaceoholics' political activities to the Board of Elections and Ethics, was just delivered to councilmembers (and LL's got his mitts on a copy).
The report finds plenty of minor faults with the Peacoholics operation, including that the group "did not consistently comply with the terms" of its contracts, improperly "commingled funds," "did not have adequate internal controls or a financial accounting system," and is delinquent in its federal tax filings and District corporation maintenance obligations.
But there's nothing sexy in the report that would indicate that Moten or Abraham were stealing city money or doing anything unethical. In fact, the report says that Peaceoholics made "significant contributions" to the District.
"We weren't perfect, and we learned from our mistakes," says Moten, who says Peaceoholics has been a victim of a political smear campaign because of his strong support of former Mayor Adrian Fenty last year. Peaceholics has had to virtually shut down since city funding dried up under the Gray administration.
The audit's main beefs are with the multiple city agencies that didn't always keep proper tabs on the $13.8 million Peacoholics received from 2005 to 2010. The audit found that the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services gave $40,580 to Peaceoholics without a valid contract, contracts between city agencies and Peacoholics were "often incomplete," $1.3 million in grants were given to Peaceoholics without being competitively bid, and city agencies didn't properly monitor Peacoholics after giving them money.
Washington City Paper documented this lack of oversight last year. LL will link to the full report once it is posted on the D.C. Auditor's website.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery