Council Members Propose Bills to Avoid Repeat Embarrassments

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCWashington.com

    A couple of bills proposed by D.C. Council members come in reaction to a couple of the more embarrassing city scandals of the past year.

    Councilman Kwame Brown has proposed a bill that would require the firing of any public school employee who has sexual contact with a student. And Councilwoman Mary Cheh wants to change the way the city gets rid of surplus property.

    Brown's bill follows the school system's disclosure earlier this year that a teacher allegedly fathered an 18-year-old special needs student's child. That teacher was placed on administrative leave and has since been fired. But because the student was of age, the teacher was not subjected to criminal investigation.

    School employees would continue to face criminal or civil penalties, but the bill would also require that they be fired if found to have engaged in sexual contact with a student.

    Cheh's bill is in response to last year's scandal involving a surplus fire truck and ambulance donated to a resort town in the Dominican Republic. An investigation found that the donation of the surplus property was arranged outside the traditional procedures.

    Cheh wants to require tracking of the surplus property so that other agencies and the public would know what is available. It would also establish minimum bids for certain property worth more than $10,000 that the city doesn't need.

    The city is projected to earn more than $500,000 as a result of selling unneeded property this year.