Nickles: Parks Contracts Are OK After All

By Mike DeBonis
|  Monday, Oct 26, 2009  |  Updated 8:15 PM EDT
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Nickles: Parks Contracts Are OK After All

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Nickles: Parks Contracts Are OK After All was originally published on City Desk on Oct. 26, 2009, at 3:53 pm
 

Late Friday, Attorney General Peter Nickles released an opinion stating that the D.C. Housing Authority is required to vet its contracts worth $1 million per year or more through the D.C. Council.

That was a nice, if unexpected twist to the disclosure that his boss, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, had sent $82M in parks construction contracts to DCHA in such a way as to elude council oversight. For once, it seemed, Nickles had put the kibosh on a pet Fenty project.

Today, in a one-page memo [PDF], Nickles says that’s actually not true.

The contracts-must-go-to-council opinion applies only to future contracts, not ones already awarded.

“Generally,” he writes in the memo, “retroactivity is not favored in the law.”

Speaking of retroactivity, DCHA spokesperson Dena Michaelson noted to LL over the weekend that her agency had been seeking a ruling from Nickles “since his appointment” as AG as to whether DCHA’s independent procurement authority applies to local-funded projects (as opposed to the federally funded projects that comprise most of the agency’s work). That didn’t come till Friday. “We are pleased that he has responded to our inquiries,” Michaelson says, “and that we finally have clarity.”

So, asks LL: Is this going to force that lawsuit that the council keeps threatening to file?

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