DPR Official: Messing With Fenty's Kids Got Me Fired

Ex-DPR Official: Messing With Fenty’s Kids Got Me Fired was originally published on City Desk on Apr. 08, 2009, at 3:37 pm

A former senior Parks and Recreation employee says that he was fired in February for raising questions about the participation of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s twin sons in a youth basketball league.

Michael Williams, 60, made his allegations in a lawsuit being filed today [PDF] in D.C. Superior Court against Fenty, DPR Director Clark Ray, and the District government. The suit seeks $5 million in damages, in addition to other relief.

You can read a full account of Williams’ allegations in this week’s LL column.

In a nutshell: In mid-February, Williams says it came to his attention that Fenty’s sons, Matthew and Andrew, were playing in the wrong basketball league at Emery Recreation Center. According to their birth date, the two should have been placed in a 10-and-under league, but instead were in the 8-and-under league. When Williams raised the issue with his higher-ups, Williams alleges he was told by Ray to leave them be. The paperwork for the Fenty boys was also found to be out of order; where parental signatures, physicals, and emergency information were required, Emery staffers had written only “Mayor’s Son.” [PDF 1, PDF 2]

Days after a coach moved the kids to the proper league, Williams says, he was fired by Ray. He also alleges that, in order to explain his sudden firing, city officials spread rumors that he was embezzling public funds.

Williams also aired his grievances in a March 25 budget hearing [WMV, forward to 2:32:00], receiving a brief mention in the next day’s Washington Post.

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