Loose Lips

DOES Deputy Director Allegedly Funneled Grants to Her Old Company

Paulette Francois, the District's deputy director for workforce development, was fired from her last job for allegedly sending grant funds to a company she used to work for, according to court records.

Francois worked for Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation for five years before July 13, 2012, when department secretary Scott Jensen told her that she was going to be fired for funneling the grant money to her old employer, a company called M3L.

"This issue raised questions as to her judgment, and therefore her performance," Jensen wrote in a letter to Francois' attorney.

It's not clear what the company was receiving federal money to do for Maryland. The DLLR, which declined to comment to LL, might not even know themselves. That's because the payment documents signed by Francois, according to Jensen, obscure just what Francois' old company was paid for in the first place.

"I felt that I could no longer feel confident in delegating the responsibility for administering $60 million in federal grants to Ms. Francois," Jensen wrote.

Francois sued Maryland for wrongful termination (which is how LL knows about this in the first place), but a judge threw the case out. She declined to talk about her firing, except to say that she has another set of documents that prove that she didn't do anything wrong that she couldn't give LL.

In fairness to Francois, her last Maryland performance review—from 2008—lists her as "outstanding." And DOES, which hired Francois on Dec. 31 last year, may need more competent administrators: When the department caught LL's predecessor's eye, its idea of workforce development was paying people to hand out light bulbs.

DOES director Lisa Mallory didn't respond to a request for comment. So here's the question LL would have asked her: If Maryland couldn't trust Francois with money, should the District?

  • Barrie Daneker

    Nope fire her and Mallory!

  • drez

    One City!
    And people say nothing happens in DC in the summer.

  • Gray is Awkward

    Another highlight of my One City Crew...One States Trash is another States Trash!

  • Blevins

    Indictment summer, 2013!

    One City is the gift that keeps on giving, from sillymon, to HTJ, to Kwame - the list goes on and on.

  • truth hurts

    Are applicants for positions like "Deputy Director for Workforce Development" required to fill out job applications in one city? Seems to me a standard line of inquiry should go something like this: Please describe your work history during the past ten years. For each position you no longer occupy, please describe the reasons for your departure.

    Or is that too much to ask?


    Wow!!! More cronyism in DC government.

  • Deron Butler

    A friend of mine works at DOES said she spends most of her time focused on grants which amount to millions! She should be suspended while an independent investigation is conducted.


  • Nonnyshh

    What a hatchet job. Is this rag not required to check facts?

  • JMonroe

    This information is completely false.