District Bizarrely Trying to Keep Already Public Records Confidential
Last week the Washington Post editorial page posted two internal reports on the city's politicized contracting process for the D.C. lottery. The reports were done by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer's top former internal investigator, Robert Andary. After the Post story ran, LL posted the investigator's notes Andary had used to write his reports.
All of those documents are under a protective order in a civil lawsuit between the city and Eric Payne, the former contracting boss for the CFO's office who says he was improperly fired for protesting problems with the lottery procurement. Yesterday the city's Office of the Attorney General filed a motion in the lawsuit saying it wouldn't object to making the reports posted by the Post public, since they were, well, already public. But the OAG didn't mention in its filing that Andary's notes were also already public, and is asking that they continue to be off-limits from public view.
What's up with that logic fail? A spokesman for Attorney General Irv Nathan has so far not responded to LL's request for comment.
In any event, Payne says there's a lot riding on a federal judge's forthcoming decision on whether to make other records related to his case, like depositions of public officials, public. Payne says the court order has prohibited him from sharing documents with investigators from the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, who have interviewed him about the goings on in the OCFO.
Payne says the documents the District is keeping private show that "various public officials ... made false statements under oath." Maybe one day, the public will get a chance to judge that accusation for itself.
UPDATE: Nathan's spokesman says "we are continuing to try to protect the investigators' notes to protect the integrity of the investigative process."