Loose Lips

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."

  • nowaitadaminit

    Bet Eric Payne played the game just like the rest of the crooks who are involved in contracting. Hopefully the federal judge's decision will take that into consideration and do a little judicial privilege investigation into his actions while employed before his whinny azz tried the holier than thou act.

    Now there's a story for you. What made Eric Payne decide to stray from the fold???? How many times has he 'made false statements under oath' just during this court case?

    Didn't his first lawyer bail out? Didn't he get a lawyer who didn't have a secretary to handle the case for him with the promise of not only a big pay day if he wins....
    NOT..., but also the need for several secretaries if by some small chance he does?......NOT!!!!!!

    Can't blame Payne for trying to get paid because he'll never do lunch in any town again as a procurement contractor, let alone manager of same.

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  • Corporate Hack

    The final report issued by Andary still does not adequately explain the relationship and arrangements between CM Graham and Dottie Wade. For example, the 2nd paragraph of the report indcates that according to [Graham] "Wade just dropped by [Graham's] office." However, on page 3 of the report, Andary writes that "[Graham's] own calendar showed that [he] met with Wade on April 17..." If Wade had just "dropped by" Graham's office, he would not have had a calendar entry noting a scheduled meeting.

  • truth hurts

    I suspect Payne's lawyer(s) either agreed to the initial protective order or didn't aggressively oppose it. Municipalities have heavy burdens when requesting protective orders in cases involving public money and/or matters of public interest. Some plaintiffs' lawyers are too lazy to fight DC's requests for protective orders, instead taking the easy way out. Would be interesting to know whether the earlier order was by consent. If so, the dynamics aren't what they should be for Payne.