Loose Lips

Catania Speculates on Motivation Behind Jeff Thompson’s Campaign Donations

Councilmember David Catania all but accused Mayor Vince Gray and Medicaid contractor Jeffrey Thompson of engaging in a quid pro quo scheme today on The Kojo Nnamdi Show.

Catania has long been sore at the Gray administration for an additional $7.5 million payment to Thompson's company, D.C. Chartered Health Plan, that was pushed through at the last minute soon after Gray took office. Catania views the payment as a way for Chartered to recoup some of the $12 million settlement it had to pay after Catania ordered up an audit that found all sorts of shenanigans with Chartered's books. The Gray administration has always maintained that the payment was totally legitimate and was in no way connected to Thompson's previous settlement or his generous political donations. (The well-regarded head of the Department of Health Care Finance, Wayne Turnage, whom even Catania has spoken highly of, swears that the $7.5 million payment was both necessary and legitimate.)

The Catania/Gray argument got a whole lot more interesting after federal agents raided Thompson's home and offices and the Post tied Thompson to an alleged well-funded off-the-books shadow effort during Gray's mayoral campaign.

Today on Kojo, Catania ramped it up a notch, speculating that Thompson was eager to put a lot of money behind getting Gray elected in order to preserve his $322 million-a-year Medicaid contract with the District. Thompson, Catania says, knew "on some level" that former Mayor Adrian Fenty and Catania wouldn't have been eager to see Chartered continue to do business with the District.

"He had a motivation to see Mr. Fenty run out of town," Catania says (by which LL presumes he meant not Fenty, but his attorney general, Peter Nickles).

Thompson's attorney has declined to comment since the federal raids. The irony here is that Thompson has been pretty much been forced to sell Chartered since the feds got up all in his business. Turnage indicated last month that the city wouldn't renew its contract with Chartered with Thompson at the helm "for a number of reasons," but wouldn't elaborate on what those reasons were. The latest sale news has a Philadelphia-based company interested in making Chartered a subsidiary.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Drez

    Next you'll be telling me that taxi driers supported Gray so thier rates would be raised and that Jemal supported Gray so he would offset his back taxes.
    Please, I'm shocked!

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Susan

    DAVID with your BIPOLAR BEHIND.... several of the Council approved this payment!! Its over a million..

    EVERYONE knows ANYTHING over 1 million needs Council Approval.

    But THEN AGAIN all of the Council received FUNDS from Jeff..


  • StrangeFruit

    @ Susan,

    Ditto! Catania's days on the dais are numbered.

  • dcRIP

    Catania is the best of all. Bunch of crooks!

  • timothyjensen

    In capitalism, when you can't find a customer, you lower your price. Even the federal government understands that. The premiums have now dropped by 20% to 40%, depending on your age, circumstance and state. If you considered this pre-existing coverage plan before and found it too costly, give it a look now. best would be to check "Penny Health" for your health insurance

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com KARMA

    David started all of this mess with earmarking-BSAs and now he is attempting to wash his hands of eveything. He's CRAZY!!


    We are coming after you too!! Unfortunately, meds will not take care of everything you are facing and deserve.

    Your demons and that nasty temper- will have to pay for much..

    @Susan- You are on POINT!!

  • Throw The Book

    Catania sucks, he is the reason the hospital will never live up to its true potential. If someone who sick are injured in SE they may die before they get to a hospital why???? BECAUSE THERE ISNT A HOSPITAL IN SE THANKS TO THAT ASSHOLE!

  • RealDC

    Catania is the WORSE! Why did MC Dean hire this fool? Oh, they wanted to protect their interest in their DC contract. Lets investigate Catania's bribe of a job with MC Dean??

  • Brahmin

    He is gotten more unstable over time. If Vince Gray is supposedly the man with the big black bad hat. This is the Madhatter--you are always hearing of some unstable crazy tirade and leaks out of his office.

  • deborah

    David Catania should know exactly what that is, since he has been doing it with Health Care Finance. He has been filtering money through contracts to the firm he works for now and all of his associates, because he doesn't have any friends. It is alleged that he had Dorothy Brazill's house burnt down because she was getting ready to uncover all the dirt that David had done through Health Care Finance. What a shame, he not only needs to go he needs to visit hell if he had that done to that poor old black lady.

  • Ward 1 Voter

    Catania has been real a bulldog on this issue. Wish we had at least two or three more good-government types on the Council like him.

    Looking forward to all those "My heart goes out to (x)'s family" comments, where (x) = anybody and everybody who's been riding in the Chartered Health gravy train.

  • SEis4ME

    If more people like Catania are what's needed on the council, you can kiss governing in DC goodbye. He and others like him need to be kicked out of office.

  • Ward 1 Voter

    Catania's problem, it seems to me, is that making people and institutions accountable for how they spend public money rocks the boat. People whose livelihoods depend on diverting that public money into their pockets hate his guts.

    So, yeah, I'd like two or three more boat-rockers.

  • RealDC

    What? Catania is delusional, bi-polar drunk. You can see Catania stumbling around 18th and Florida Ave every weekend looking for SOMETHING. The only thing he is shaking up is his drinks and the only boat he is rocking..... well, you don't want to know. Its a sad situation on the DC council, a bunch low lifes and losers. Hit it Jack Evans, "this is the worse council ever"!!

  • SEis4ME

    People whose livelihoods depend on diverting that public money into their pockets hate his guts.

    I don't have public money diverted into my pockets. And I am also one of those who would love NOT to see Catania on the council. Hell, I'm not a Wells fan but I respect his style of "holding people accountable" much more than Catania the bottom feeder.

  • Ward 1 Voter

    1. If Catania weren't a threat to the grifters and hustlers (and their pompom squad), this thread would be full of crickets.

    2. If Catania were wrong, then someone would cheerfully point out how and why he's wrong and offer examples and facts and stuff. Instead we get feeble attempts at innuendo. Just how drunk on gayness was Catania when he burned down Dorothy Brizill's house? Inquiring minds want to know!

  • SEis4ME

    @WArd1, I'm assuming that you're gay and live in Dupont..since those are the only type of people turned on by Catania's antics?

    Oh my, wait! That sounds like a gross oversimplification and likely misrepresentation as to why people would think anything good about this crustacean.

    The fact that he's jousting w/the mayor and his staff over his hurt feelings and is well known for using unprofessional, divisive, and profane language...yet, you want someone to "cheerfully" point out how that's wrong speaks volumes your love of the rut people like Catania will keep us in.

  • Ward 1 Voter

    Shake those pompoms, SE.

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