Loose Lips

Mayoral Candidate Christian Carter Accused of Stiffing Subcontractor

Most District politicians wait until they're in office to be accused of stealing city money. But not Christian Carter, the 30-year-old city contractor who announced his run for mayor last week. Carter's campaign kick-off Saturday had some unlikely crashers: District officials.

The payment dispute centers on the 2014 Children's Budget Report, which Carter's New Columbia Enterprises produced. Carter subcontracted some of the work to Susie Cambria, a budget and policy analyst, but Cambria says that she's been chasing Carter for money he owes her since March.

Cambria claims that Carter owes her around $23,000 in payments from money he's already received from the city, along with about $40,000 in money the city hasn't paid Carter. On Saturday, officials from the office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services came to Carter's event at Hill Center on Capitol Hill to get his signature on an affidavit that would allow them to bypass him on the $40,000 payment to Cambria.

That still leaves the $23,000 Cambria says she is owed. At Carter's party, Cambria worried about how he paid  for the balloons and fruit spread. "This money to pay for this shit needed to come from somewhere," she says.

Carter claims that the money the city owes him for producing the budget—around $100,000, he claims—is being held up as punishment from Mayor Vince Gray because, as Carter nebulously puts it, he stood up to cronyism.

"I want this woman to get paid," Carter says. "I don't want her to have to suffer along with me."

But emails obtained by LL suggest that Gray administration is eager to pay Carter. Chris Murphy, Gray's chief of staff, wrote to Carter on June 20 asking for a list of what money the city owes him. "I just want us to move as quickly as possible to work together to make this all right," Murphy wrote.

Murphy followed up with emails on June 24 and June 26, copying former city administrator Neil Albert for help contacting Carter. Finally, Murphy emailed Carter on July 8, suggesting that Carter had been "not truthful" with him.

The accusations aren't slowing down Carter, who says he's working on building his campaign team. "The more you say to me is the more your can of worms will be opened up for yourself," he says of Cambria and the city officials. "Because I'm the one that's innocent here."

Murphy's emails to Carter:

From: Murphy, Christopher (EOM)
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 6:29 PM
To: 'ccarter@newcolumbiainc.com'
Cc: Neil.Albert@hklaw.com; Bunn, Sheila (EOM)
Subject: Checking In

Chris – Any progress on sending me your full list of accounting – what you believe the District owes you and what you owe subs?

I just want us to move as quickly as possible to work together to make this all right.


From: Murphy, Christopher (EOM)
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 7:34 PM
To: ccarter@newcolumbiainc.com
Cc: Neil.Albert@hklaw.com; Bunn, Sheila (EOM)
Subject: RE: Checking In

Chris – Just following up. Any word?

From: Murphy, Christopher (EOM)
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 3:31 PM
To: 'ccarter@newcolumbiainc.com'
Cc: Neil.Albert@hklaw.com; Bunn, Sheila (EOM)
Subject: RE: Checking In

Neil – Any way for you to reach out to Chris on this to keep us moving forward.  We are trying hard to address his concerns but his non-responsiveness makes that impossible.


From: Murphy, Christopher (EOM) [mailto:christopher.murphy@dc.gov]
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2013 1:28 PM
To: 'ccarter@newcolumbiainc.com'
Cc: Albert, Neil O (WAS – X75144); Bunn, Sheila (EOM)
Subject: RE: Checking In

Checking in again.

Chris – I asked someone to stop by the address of what you had confirmed to us all was your current office and they were informed you have been evicted for non-payment. I am increasingly concerned that some, if not much, of the story you shared with me, Neil, and Sheila was not truthful.

I remain willing to help you get paid whatever you may be owed. But you are certainly not helping us resolve any of this with your lack of responsiveness.

Please be in touch asap.


Photo by Will Sommer

  • TruDat

    Only in the District, baby

  • Blevins

    Two thumbs up, indeed. One would think that this gentleman would seek to get his own business in order prior to seeking to helm a multi-billion dollar city (and its budget). Only in DC is right.

  • Gray Matter

    Irresponsible? Check
    Insincere? Check
    Shameless? Check

    Definitely DC political class material.

  • http://www.congressheightsontherise.com The Advoc8te

    This guy crashed the Congress Heights Civic Association meeting last month with a bunch of loud accusations of being "shut out" of the Saint Elizabeths project. He got so disruptive and kept disrupting the meeting with his antics and personal gripes that the police had to be called.

    Not a good look.

  • go to jail

    Thieves should be tried in the court of law then put in jail? Another Madoff in the making!

  • go to jail

    Where are the auditors??

  • NE John

    "This money to pay for this shit needed to come from somewhere," she says.

    LOL! This guy is a jerk. You pay your people before yourself, or get the shit kicked out of you.

  • Typical DC BS

    Want to guess that Christian Carter is not properly set up to do business in DC (i.e. no up-to-date corporation filings, lots of failures to submit paperwork required, etc.)?

  • http://www.congressheightsontherise.com The Advoc8te
  • http://susiecambria.blogspot.com Susie Cambria

    Just one correction: The children's budget report was produced by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services in collaboration with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education.

  • Not H.L. Mencken

    A candidate who stiffs the people BEFORE he gets elected? Well, that's a step forward. But a real step forward would be to elected people who are pre-indicted, pre-convicted, and pre-incarcerated. It would be a considerable savings of time, energy, and taxpayer dollars. Of course, Colby King wouldn't have anything to write about.


    There has got to be more to this story. Awaiting a reply from Mr. Carter. Somehow I don't believe this story.

  • joan

    how did he get this contract? sole source?

  • Citydude

    This needs to go to Machen's office..How can Neil and Sheila Bun be copied on legit Govt business?? This is just a tip of the iceburg..LOL Another Brown in the making!!

  • Citydude

    Govt running to his event to get another sub paid..Totally unheard of...The guy has a construction CBE and how does he get a contract writing budget?? man this is another Bannekar Systems in the making..

  • Blevins

    Another way to look at this Mr. Carter: If a story on a mayoral candidate's total inability to run their business fails to generate a large number of comments on a DC political blog, what does that say about your name recognition and ability to run a winning campaign?

    Nobody cares about your vanity campaign, not to mention your "vision" (eye roll - shudder). Get your business in order.

  • Notinbred

    Huh, when i go to the domain name of his email address (newcolumbiainc.com) there is no website there.

  • NotSurprised

    I was contracted by this guy and his company several months ago, and I went through the same thing. My very first payment from his company was late and it went downhill from there. When someone told me he was running for mayor, I actually thought it was a joke. Well, actually, it is.

  • drez

    The mayor's chief of staff settles contract disputes?

  • Smh


  • Harriette Hartmann

    Christian Carter has been living in my house of 30 years since september of 2011 never payed rent on time,if payed at all had other people living there that were not on the lease, used my property as campaign head quarters without permision,destroyed my landscape,caused me problems with my mortgage company when i had to make up for rent that he never paid.gave him a 30 day notice to quit and the guy said that i was messing with his life.I am 77 years of age and I refuse to let him cause the lost of my property the quy needs to get out of my house and get some mental help. Harriette (Granny)Hartmann Owner of 2509 Branch Ave Se Washington Dc 20020