Loose Lips

Catania Seeks Repayment from Nursing Home Operator

An update from an old column LL wrote last year about a VMT Long Term Care, a contractor that operates the city's J.B. Johnson nursing home: Councilmember David Catania said today that he'll introduce legislation if necessary to recoup $1.8 million in city funds VMT spent to settle a dispute with the federal Department of Labor.

"I want our money back or I no longer want to do business with VMT," Catania said in a statement.

A report by the city's Inspector General detailed a labor department finding that VMT had underpaid 600 workers. VMT agreed to pay the $1.7 million in back pay and $140,000 in taxes using city money earmarked for nursing home operating costs. But the IG disagrees with VMT CEO Solange Vivens over whether the payments constitute a fine that VMT should eat or legitimate operating costs that city funds should cover.

“A fine you pay to the Department of Labor, not to the employees," Vivens told LL last year. She wasn't immediately available today for comment. Vivens has long been the target of scorn from the Service Employees International Union for her anti-union efforts. Some of VMT's workers have  complained of low pay and poor working conditions.

The IG noted that one tricky irony: At the very same time VMT was arguing that it would be "driven into ruin" if it had to cover the $1.8 million, it paid Vivens, its sole shareholder, $1.8 million. The city's Office of the Attorney General has notified Catania that it's trying to recoup the $1.8 million; the case is currently before the Contact Appeals Board, according to Catania's office.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Susan

    David, How about you do the same with Whitman Walker and all other vendors you have given money to before receiving services.

    Maybe since you aren't Vice President of the company the rules are different.

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  • KeepInItReal

    David, David, David, what about your being Vice President at M.C. Dean, who receives MILLIONS of dollars in city contracts annually, and you voting on the bid each and EVERY time it comes before the council.

    What is it about Alan Satan-man and his resistence to reporting the negative of only black city officials? He is so racially transparent.

  • KeepInItReal

    Since Satan-man doesn't have the balls to tell you.

    Who/what is M.C. Dean?

    The company holds the contract to maintain and repair city traffic signals — one of the most lucrative contracts in city government. Last year’s contract was worth $9.3 million to the company. Since 1999 M.C. Dean has done more than $130 million in business with the District. One of the most influential men in city government is on M.C. Dean’s payroll to the tune of $120,000 a year. That man being Councilmember David Catania.

  • RUSerious?

    CATANIA, with all that has been said by the above very enlightened commenters, GO PHUCK YOURSELF.

    RON MACHEN, will you please get this dude CATANIA for obvious kick-backs coming from M.C. Dean?

    CATANIA you have made it possible for M.C. Dean to monopolize government business and YOU ARE GETTING PAID...so much more than that 350K that you ragged Thomas for stealing.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    LL: Check out Catania. No one on the council should be monetarily, emotionally or politically connected to any other contractor of the District.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    Bloggers: I have a novel idea--let us check out all the Council members' connections to money-making streams and see what we get!

    Also check out Eleanor Holmes Norton as well.

  • saywhat44

    Councilmember David Catania and Jim Graham are the biggest theives in Government. It is always the ones who sprout out of their mouths first, is the ones you should take a look at. It spells dirty to high heaven!!!

  • ?

    @KeepInItReal, MC Dean just won the 5 year DC streetlight contract at an over 200 million dollar bid. Of course after losing it initially to another contractor that under bid them. MC Dean contested the bid and won. If the residents/media don't speak out this will only get worse.

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