Council Report Slams Mayor's Aides Over Dominican Deal

By Tom Sherwood
|  Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010  |  Updated 7:00 PM EDT
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Council Report Slams Mayor's Aides Over Dominican Deal

Tom Sherwood/WRC

Councilman Mendelson is not going to let these emergency vehicles get past him again.

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Aides in Mayor Adrian Fenty's economic development office sought for more than a year and a half to ship a used fire truck and other equipment to a small town in the Dominican Repubilc, acording to a report issued by D.C. Council members. It happened to be the beach town of Sosua, where some of the aides had traveled for social reasons, including Superbowl parties.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

The scheme to ship a fire truck and an ambulance to the island was cancelled after the news media, starting with The Examiner, began asking about it. D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles ordered the equipment returned to the city.

An investigation by D.C. Council members Mary Cheh and Phil Mendelson details how several aides to the mayor sought to donate the equipment, even enlisting a city nonprofit (Peaceaholics) to front the scheme. The mayoral aides failed to follow established procedures to dispose of excess city property, the report says.

Cheh said she will write tougher legislation to keep such schemes from happening again.

Fenty's controversial personal friend Sinclair Skinner was involved in the transaction even though he's not a city employee. The mayor said he had not been briefed on the report and had no comment Wednesday.

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