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Mayor Adrian Fenty 
Press release: findings of Summer Youth Employment Investigation
August 12, 2008




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CapStat, Findings of an Internal Investigation Regarding the District’s 2008 Summer Youth Employment Program Councilmember Carol Schwartz, letter to Inspector General requesting audit of Summer Youth Employment Program

August 12, 2008

Carrie Brooks, named Chief of Staff replacing Tene Dolphin; Tene Dolphin, named director of the Department of Employment Services replacing Summer Spencer; City Administrator Dan Tangherlini, August 12, 2008

Summer Spencer, ousted director of the Department of Employment Services, August 12, 2008

Fenty Announces Findings of Summer Youth Employment Investigation

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty today released the findings of the internal investigation of the Department of Employment Services Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), which outlined a series of serious management problems during this year’s program.  Fenty also announced the appointment of his Chief of Staff, Tene Dolphin, as the interim director of the Department of Employment Services, and Carrie Brooks as his new chief of staff.  

The investigation was conducted by CapStat, the Mayor’s accountability and efficiency program for the District Government.  Every agency associated with the administration and development of the SYEP for 2008, the planning process, and the execution of the program was investigated.

“It was clear before this report that there was serious mismanagement of this year’s Summer Youth Employment Program,” said Fenty.  “It is important that we understand all of our mistakes so that we can correct them and restore the faith of our residents in our programs.”

The investigation looked at the Department of Employment Services (DOES), the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM), the Office of the City Administrator (OCA), the Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP) and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO).  The CapStat team also conducted interviews with outside host organizations to gain a full understanding of any issues regarding placements, trainings and payroll.

Major Findings

  • Approximately $17 million of the $37 million budget for SYEP was used to meet increased demand for the program
  • The final budget increase is the result of severe mismanagement of payroll within the program
  • The time entry system is unreliable because of a lack of complete and accurate records, creating significant numbers of errors
  • Management safeguards at all levels of city government failed to raise warnings, and information was taken at face value
  • DOES underestimated the depth and complexity of data management problems even after the payroll crisis became evident
  • Most of allegations of fraud and abuse have not been confirmed as true or pervasive

Summer Spencer stepped down from her post as director, but has committed to assisting in the agency transition through Labor Day. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my work at DOES and it has been an enlightening experience,” said Spencer.  “Although everyone knows that the last few months have been challenging, we have accomplished a lot of great things – both within the Summer Youth Employment Program and the agency itself.  However, when you have enormous obstacles such as the ones we have faced most recently, you have to start at the top, and the buck stops with me.”

In order to fix the current payroll problems for the remainder of the summer, DOES will identify and remove from the system people who are currently not part of the program and ensure that payment reflects the program’s parameters -- including pay rates, age limits and allowable hours. DOES will also continue to work with every host site to ensure accurate attendance is reported.

Tene Dolphin
Interim Director, Department of Employment Services

Tene Dolphin will bring more than 10 years of management experience to her position as interim director of the Department of Employment Services. Dolphin has served as chief of staff in the Executive Office of the Mayor since the beginning of the Fenty Administration and as chief operations manager for Fenty’s mayoral campaign, where she was responsible for the day-to-day campaign activities of the office staff and volunteers.  Her experience ranges from project and operations management to professional event coordination and education.

During her tenure as chief of staff, Dolphin managed an overall personnel realignment within the Executive Office while building strong relationships with agencies across DC government.

Before joining the Fenty management team, she worked in several business management and communications positions, including director of administration and operations at Westin Rinehart, a leading strategic communications consulting firm, and business manager for Washington-based trade association Vinyl Siding Institute.

Her campaign experience was honed during the 2004 presidential campaign cycle, where she served as director of special projects for the Democratic National Committee.  There, she was responsible for implementing emergency plans, organizing national travel for luminaries for the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign, as well as conducting training on campaign procedures.

Dolphin also served as an educator for several years in Maryland’s Prince Georges County. Dolphin graduated with honors from Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor of science in psychology.

She has always remained an active humanitarian, volunteering for several organizations including Habitat for Humanity, United Negro College Fund, and the National Council of Negro Women to name a few. Originally from Philadelphia, Dolphin now resides in Arboretum neighborhood of Washington.

Carrie Brooks
Chief of Staff, Executive Office of the Mayor

Mayor Fenty has named Carrie Brooks as his chief of staff for the Executive Office of the Mayor. Brooks has served as his director of communications since the beginning of the Administration, joining the Mayor’s transition team in November 2007.  With 15 years’ experience in the field of public relations and communications in both the public and private sector, Carrie Brooks came to the Fenty Administration after 5 years on Capitol Hill.  

Brooks worked for Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) as her communications director, managing overall communications strategy, constituent outreach and national media efforts, and also as her Washington director, overseeing everything from day-to-day operations to legislative initiatives.

Her private sector public relations career has included working with FORTUNE500 technology companies and various consumer clients.  Brooks’ work focused on strategic communications planning as well as basic media relations.

She has worked for two California city governments, Lake Forest, in the city clerk’s office and Anaheim, in the public information office. Brooks also worked in the public information office of the U.S. Institute of Peace, a federally funded think tank focused on international conflict-resolution.

Brooks received her bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations from California State University, Fullerton. Growing up in the District, she is also a proud graduate of the DC Public School System. Brooks resides in the northwest DC Logan Circle neighborhood.

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