More Money Out the Door

I complain about the stadium deal an awful lot. I mean, $611,000,000 of public money is an unprecedented amount of moolah to spend on a baseball stadium. And who knows if it will revitalize the Anacostia waterfront. But maybe I should give it a break. I mean, it's an unacceptable amount of money, but at least we're getting something tangible in return.

The same can't be said for the estimated $44,000,000 we lost through fraud. That money went to Bentleys and Louis Vuitton handbags. And the same can be said for the estimated $17,000,000 we lost through managerial incompetence. That's how much money the D.C. Inspector General thinks we lost when the D.C. Office of Contracting and Procurement started offering no-bid contracts to the company that processes our traffic tickets.

We've been using this company, ACS State and Local Solutions, for 23 years. So, I guess out of loyalty?, they named their price and we gave it to them. No questions asked.

Worse yet, the contracts were granted without the consent of the DC Council. This is a no-no. The DC Council has to approve city contracts over one millions dollars. So, beyond being merely wasteful, this also fails the smell test.

[Chief Procurement Officer David P.] Gragan was appointed by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in June. The principal contracting officer involved with the sole-source contract awarded to ACS is no longer employed by the District, Gragan said.

Hmmm. Since everyone involved in the tax fraud fiasco is going up the river, can we expect the same for our unnamed contracting officer? If he (or she) wasted $17,000,000 out of incompetence, shouldn't he be incarcerated for that? There is no way anyone can convince me that these contracts were awarded in good faith. At best it was incompetence. At worst, malfeasance. Both possibilities should end up with the cotnracting officer having to answer to a criminal court.

Regardless, I am sick of hearing about the ways this city can, for all intents and purposes, set money on fire.


  1. I'm going to have to cut the Iraqi's some slack for a while. Apparently this whole "self government" thing is tough work.

  2. I have always felt like this deal was a big waste of money. Why is the city shelling SO much money for something frivolous instead of spending this money on more important things like the school system (think of all those school closings). And I think the hoped for revitalization of SE is going to be a long time coming.

  3. Actually Meeg, DC doesn't need to spend more money on the schools. They already spend more money per child than almost all if not all other public school jurisdictions in the country. They need to be more efficient and stop sending special ed kids to schools all over the city. Hopefully the new chancellor and mayor's closing of some of these schools will help with efficiency.

  4. For the jillionth time, the baseball stadium isn't paid for with 'public funds' as most people would use that term. It was a special and very limited tax on very large businesses only. The average DC taxpayer will feel virtually no effect, unless perhaps they are a customer of a very large lobbying or law firm.

    And it wasn't a case where the businesses would have accepted a tax for, say, a few billion more to be spent on our ridiculous school system. The large business community actually welcomed this tax, as much as one can welcome a tax.

    So please quit pretending that this was a tax on the average joe. It wasn't.