Loose Lips

D.C. Council Asks, David Forrester Mostly Doesn’t Answer

David Forrester Testifies at D.C. Council

David Forrester, the president of a Rockville-based construction company that bears his family name, had a chance today to explain to the D.C. Council what exactly happened during the construction of Anacostia Senior High School.

By now you all know that LL has previously written how Forrester allegedly used an allegedly local company as a pass-through to take improper advantage of the city's Certified Business Enterprise program. Contracts filed in court show how Forrester, the supposed 49 percent partner of the joint venture building Anacostia, controlled all bank accounts on the project and controlled about 95 percent of the work on the $50 million contract.

But Forrester had little to nothing to say about the Anacostia project. He acknowledged that Forrester controlled the bank accounts and had provided bonding for the entire project. He also insisted that the majority partner, EEC of D.C., had done 51 percent of the joint venture work.

"This is not an authentic joint venture, Mr. Forrester," At-Large Councilmember David Catania said. "This was a joke."

But when councilmembers, who have copies of the records that show the widely uneven division of labor, raised more questions, Forrester shut them down by pointing out that his company and EEC of D.C. are currently suing each other.

"That's a subject of dispute in the lawsuit," Forrester said, over and over.

Did Forrester have total control of the two previous joint ventures with EEC of D.C. on city projects, including the construction of the Department of Employment Services?

Subject of dispute.

This approach did not go over well. Councilmember Vincent Orange grew so frustrated that he asked that Forrester be sworn in. Orange told Forrester he was being "disingenuous." Later, Orange told LL he's asked the inspector general to investigate the Anacostia project (Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser says she's informally asked the attorney general to weigh in, as well) and said he may call Forrester back to testify next week at a hearing on CBEs.

Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry told Forrester he was acting like a witness at a trial with his evasive answers.

"You're president of the company? You better get another job," Barry said, after Forrester pleaded ignorance to one of his questions about Forrester Constructions' basic operations.

The hearing had extra importance because the council held up more than $2 million in change orders set to go to the joint venture at Anacostia until lawmakers could get some questions answered.

Forrester did his best to avoid even having his picture taken. When LL tried to snap pictures, Forrester would glare and then hold up a glass of water in front of his face. When he stood up to be sworn in, he turned his back toward D.C. Watch's Dorothy Brizill, as she tried to take a picture. Eventually, though, LL managed to catch him.

Photo by Alan Suderman

  • name

    I think it's hilarious when the DC Council writes inane, unworkable and ultimately corrupt legislation (with loopholes designed for their own favorite construction firms) then tries to blame individuals and organizations that use those loopholes to get work done.

    Catania is a complete and utter hypocrite working for MCDEAN and complaining about another contractor working for the city. Barry knows corruption so well, he doesn't know how to be honest anymore and the same goes for Vincent Orange.

    The DC Government has contractors it hasn't paid IN YEARS. This is all an end around because they don't have the cash to pay people, and they're all too stupid to plagiarize the basic contracting and construction language that every other municipality successfully uses. So they (and we) are stuck with gamesmanship.

  • rip off the rich

    NAME is dead on correct. Anfd the legislation that was written, perhaps with good intent - but who really knows -- was none other than Kwame fully loaded brown. I wonder if he was fully loaded by any of the misfit 51 percent contractors?

  • The Guy from DC

    Well isn't this the pot calling the kettle black; the distiquished panel of experts cross examining one of there own. This is a dog and pony show and nothing will become of it, look out who's watching the store. Wake up D.C. , get rid of this way of business and let qualified individuals with with a license , bonding and a reputable company bid the work in D.C.. The system they have now have every low life like your Forresters and the others working the system and taking D.C. to the bank.

  • Why Lie I Need A Beer!

    Name.. if Orange just returned to the council and these contracts have been in place for years, how is it that he doesn't know how to be honest? Obviously the guy wasn't apart of the deal and is doing the neccessary things needed to bring closure to this situation.

    Word around town is that the CBEs are pretty satisfied that the council is putting Forrester in the hot seat.

    And for Barry, having these contracts didnt affect him as much because there still is no economic progress in Ward 8.

    Please dont practice Freedom of Ignorance.

  • NE John

    I don't care any more. I am voting for Marion Barry, M. Brown, Jim Graham, and I am writing in Harry Thomas Jr., Harry Thomas Sr. and Kwame Brown. How can I do that? Well, I am just as crooked as any of these guys. And I smoked a pound of dope to every one joint Grasso smoked. We all are crooks are here in DC. Acceptance is but one step towards full recovery. If we become a state, it would be a state of criminals, like Australia a hundred and fifty years ago.

  • Pay the subs the money…

    Out of the $2m that the council is holding up how much will go to the subs that are working on the job? 90 to 95%, probably. Surely the EEC/FCC contracts as a pay-when-paid clause. They did the work. They deserve to be paid.
    The council can hold up the $2m payment as long as they want, but it's the small sub contractors that are going to be hurt. And how many of them are CBE's?

  • Pelley

    One more reason to get rid of the whole CBE program any way.

  • Tired of You Dumb Asses

    First off this was complete bullshit and that is being easy on this situation. First of all how in the hell can Marion "Shitty Ass" Barry sit up there in a fucking track suit and polo shirt and talk about how to run a business.

    Mr. Barry gave incorrect information and told a few flat out lies while attacking another man for how he runs his business. The scary part is that Mr. Barry has tried to shake his company as well as the others involved down for money several times but now wants to attack them.

    As for Vincent Orange and his corrupt ass, he is full of shit and knows it. He was doing nothing more than a dog and pony show for the media to get his greasy ass face in the media again as if fucking up the Nationals Game last week wasn't enough.

    Bowser showed she didn't have enough information on the issue an allowed the two dumb asses to play attack dog for that reason.

    Lastly, we have David Catania who was the only person to admit that the issue was FCC but that we have a fucked up system in which they are forced to play in. They were just doing what everyone else has to do to try to make this fucked up system that the likes of Barry and Orange have set up work.

    Now to not so loose lips. You should call this shit that you do another name as you are a disservice to the name and legacy of this column. You don't do any truly informative and groundbreaking reporting much like others did. You don't really give us any information we can't find some other place and the shit you do, you try to glorify and make sound sexy instead of letting facts and research be your pitch. You are shameful and should truly be ashamed of what you are doing.

    Maybe you should pull up some old articles from the other 4 or 5 loose lips who are still around. Better yet why don't you try to sit down with them all and find out how to do your fucking job instead of playing like you know what you are doing. I can find better and more investigative reporting in any decent college paper than the shit you provide. May be you should pick up a copy of the Hilltop of the publication at GWU and see how its done.

  • Puhlease

    Hilltop? That paper is ass, and none of the issues nor news in that paper has anything to do with the city. The people in those areas are nothing more than rich snobs who complain about stupid stuff like dog parks, or why their silver spoon is starting to cause splinters when they eat.

    I'm pretty sure Tired was one of those citizens calling the councilmembers the same names when they tried to bring the Nationals to DC for Baseball in the early 2000s but now your happy because the city has some good sports.