Loose Lips

Ron Machen Had Information in Jeff Thompson Investigation That Could Have Led D.C. to Fire Employees

Does District Attorney General Irv Nathan really know what happened in the District's $7.5 million settlement with a company run by alleged Vince Gray shadow campaign backer Jeff Thompson? The idea that Nathan was kept in the dark hung over U.S. Attorney Ron Machen's scrap with Nathan to get documents related to the settlement, with Machen suggesting in a letter to the AG that there were connections between District officials and Chartered "that you likely do not know about."

Now an agreement between the two, obtained by LL through an open records request, shows that Machen offered to share information with Nathan that, if publicized, could make the District take action against one or more city employees.

In early January, Machen and Nathan settled their dispute over the documents by signing the agreement. Nathan agreed to give Machen documents about the settlement that related to Gray, mayoral employees, or a third person or entity whose name was redacted from LL's copy of the agreement.

Intriguingly, Machen and Nathan also included a section in the agreement about a separate batch of documents that Machen wanted, related to two people or entities whose names were also redacted. The records, described as "Additional Requested Documents" in the agreement, would only be revealed after Machen's office followed a special procedure.

First, his office would share "access to certain information not generally known to the public" about the investigation with Nathan and three more OAG employees. Then the OAG contingent would consider whether they wanted to hand over the "Additional Requested Documents," based on the confidential information they'd seen.

Machen was apparently so convinced that the revelations from the investigation would rock Nathan's world that much of the document is related to keeping the information secret. The OAG representatives were forbidden from discussing the information with anyone else, including mayoral employees, without Machen's approval, for 90 days after seeing it.

Most interestingly, though, Machen was apparently worried that the confidential info from the investigation  would make Nathan want to take action against certain District employees. The agreement forbids him from relaying any personnel advice based on what the U.S. Attorney's Office told him for 20 days:

OAG should make no recommendation to the District Government's Executive Branch regarding any personnel action as to an individual District employee on the basis of the Confidential Information until 20 days after a) completing production of the Mayoral Documents and b) producing any Additional Requested Documents...After that period, OAG may in its discretion, after providing at least seven days' notice to the USAO, recommend to the District Government's Executive Branch any personnel action as to any such individual and, in general terms, the basis for that advice.

So, did Machen's secret stash inspire Nathan to hand over the Additional Requested Documents? Tight-lipped spokesmen for both agencies declined to comment much on the case, but individual written statements suggest that Machen got what he was looking for. OAG spokesman Ted Gest writes to LL that he doesn't think there is a dispute anymore over the documents, while Machen spokesman William Miller claims that Nathan's office handed over "the highest priority subset of documents."

As for who the city employees might be, and whether any action's been taken against them, LL hasn't heard anything one way or the other.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • drez

    How does a governement properly function with this sort of ominous ambiguity?
    How can the general public- not the people whose bread is personally buttered by government contracts or appointments or a paycheck- not consider this come April 1st?

  • HUAlum71

    The DC government and the US government are not mutually exclusive. And this will most definitely be considered come April 1st.

    ........And neither are 'the general public and the people whose bread is buttered by government contracts or appointments or a paycheck....'

    This is life in the United States of America, and perhaps all of the industrialized complexes of the world.

  • schoolman

    @ Tony:

    Your pointless meandering doesn't change the fact that
    Mayor Gray has miserably and definitively lost 2 straw polls - the only 2 straw polls that have been held. The people have spoken! Furthermore, if straw polls are irrelevant, why has the District invested so much in holding them?

    The people are sick and tired of corruption Tony!!! You have the audacity to suggest that Bowser will wrongfully fire Black District employees as if she would violate some sacred code if she does so.

    While employed by the District I witnessed, time and time again, the cruel manner in which Black officials tortured subordinate Black employees. I witnessed the flagrant disregard that Blacks showed for their duty to serve the citizens of this city. I witnessed the flagrant disregard that Blacks showed for laws designed to promote equal opportunity, justice and due process.

    So in other words, you can "can" that Black owes Black bullshit. When the opportunity presents itself, Blacks are first in line to commit atrocities against other Black for nothing more than a "pat on the head." And for years I have witnessed Whites watch in amazement!

    WHAT PART OF LOST DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND! You're not concerned with what's in the best interest of Blacks. You're only concerned with what's in YOUR best interest -
    this is why you're unfit for public service.

    Blacks like you are willing to let the entire Black race go down the drain as long as YOU are taken care of.
    This is one of the primary problem Blacks face - our contempt for one another. Whites are not our worst enemy - we are.

    Blacks have been afforded a golden opportunity to govern ourselves and look what we have done with it. We have made a mockery of ourselves and our government.

    NOW WOULD YOU PLEASE PACK YOUR SHIT!!!

  • noodlez

    COMMENT #3 IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF WACKADOODLENESS!

    ONE CITY.

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  • Capital City Records Panhandler

    Nice work, LL. Follow the bread...

  • DCPSinside

    There's an interesting relationship between chartered health and the amount of money for innovations DC Public Schools and the DC Education Fund have claimed to raise. I think with a little digging some monies recognized as "fund raised" will actually be discovered to have been funneled over by Thompson's Chartered Health. I should know. I heard the whispers.

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