Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 10, 2009


David Nakamura, Washington Post - A former D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation manager sued the city for $5 million, saying that he was improperly fired after questioning why Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's twin sons were playing in the wrong youth basketball league.

In papers filed in D.C. Superior Court, Michael Williams, who served as the agency's athletics director for about a year, said he was terminated Feb. 23. That was 10 days after he had told his boss, Parks and Recreation Director Clark E. Ray, that he had received complaints from parents that Fenty's sons were participating in the Pee Wee basketball division for 6- to 8-year-olds. The boys were to turn 9 in early March, which meant they were supposed to be in the Pony division for 9- and 10-year-olds, the lawsuit says.

Although Ray told Williams that he was being terminated for "budget reasons," the lawsuit says, Williams and his attorney John M. Clifford say that he was fired "in retaliation for having made disclosures . . . about Defendant Fenty's abuse of authority in connection with the administration of the DPR youth basketball league."

Loose Lips, Washington City Paper - The conflict, according to Williams' account, began less than two weeks before he was fired. Williams was informed by a staffer that a situation was brewing down at Emery-that parents had lodged complaints that the Fenty kids were playing in the wrong league. . . .

Williams' attitude toward those conflicts is simple, he says: You gotta follow the rules, no exceptions. It's the only way, he says, to prevent chaos, a mess of exceptions that leaves no one happy. . .

As a seasoned bureaucratic warrior, Williams says he knew he was courting disaster as soon as he heard that Hizzoner's kids were involved. . .

Two days later, on Friday the 13th, he heard more complaints had been lodged. So he called Sean Conley, an employee at DPR headquarters said to be close to Fenty. Williams says he asked Conley if his "friend" knew about the hoops situation. Conley said he did and that Ray was aware of the issue, too.

Williams says he then called Ray, who confirmed that he was aware of the situation. But the DPR director hesitated to bring the matter up with his boss. . . .

It didn't come up again until the following Tuesday, when the DPR headquarters building on 16th Street NW was evacuated after reports of a gas leak. Outside, Williams saw Ray and went to ask him if he'd heard anything further on the Fenty kids. "They're going to play," Ray allegedly "snarled" at him. . .

Williams says he just couldn't have these kids flouting the rules. He turned to back channels; Williams knows a person who he describes only as a "close associate" of Fenty. He told this person about the situation, and the person agreed to contact Fenty in Dubai that evening to work out a solution.

No solution was in the offing: The next day, the "close associate" told Williams that he'd been "cussed out" by Hizzoner.

The next day, Williams' problem was compounded. Not only is the guy a stickler for following the rules, he's also a stickler for paperwork. Kids in DPR leagues are supposed to have a registration form and liability waiver filled out with full address, an emergency contact, and a parent's signature. What Williams got for the Fenty kids didn't have any of that-just the kids' names, with "Mayor's Son" written over the rest of the form.

So Williams called Emery to figure out what was up with that. He ended up getting what he thought was some very, very good news: The Fenty kids had been moved to the Pony team. The mayor, an Emery staff member said, had told the coach, who handles both Pee Wees and Ponys, to move the kids up.

Lew Turner, the coach, tells LL that the kids were indeed moved from the Pee Wees to the Ponys, but that the move was done entirely of his own initiative. "I made that call," he says. "Nobody made that call but me."

Turner says he texted the mayor to tell him his decision. Hizzoner's response? "'Great.' He didn't want no controversy."

Williams, meanwhile, felt like he had a load off his shoulders. "It was like, 'Oh, thank the Lord. All I got now is a paperwork problem,'" he says, and Emery staff said they take would care of it.

The following Monday, Feb. 23, Williams was fired.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

中国公文网 中国皮肤网 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 癌症康复网 工作总结 个人工作总结 年终工作总结 半年工作总结 单位工作总结 教师工作总结 教学工作总结 学校工作总结 德育工作总结 财务工作总结 医务工作总结 安全工作总结 乡镇工作总结 党员工作总结 团委工作总结 公司工作总结 实习工作总结 班主任工作总结 党支部工作总结 办公室工作总结 学生会工作总结 工作报告 述职报告 述职述廉 考察报告 自查报告 情况报告 调研报告 调查报告 申请报告 辞职报告 实习报告 验收报告 评估报告 工作汇报 思想汇报 汇报材料 情况通报 情况汇报 心得体会 学习体会 工作体会 培训体会 读后感 领导讲话 庆典致辞 节日致辞 开业开幕 演讲稿 竞聘演讲 就职演讲 比赛演讲 征文演讲 节日演讲 演讲技巧 工作意见 活动策划 工作方案 整改方案 实施方案 企划文案 营销方案 培训方案 应急预案 规章制度 事迹材料 先进事迹 个人事迹 申报材料 学习材料 考察材料 经验材料 交流材料 自我鉴定 工作计划 工作规划 年度工作计划 学校工作计划 个人工作计划 团委工作计划 工会工作计划 单位工作计划 党支部工作计划 民主生活会 入党志愿书 入党申请书 入团申请书 转正申请书 党性分析材料整改措施 剖析材料 贺电贺词 论文

April 10, 2009 4:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home