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City Council Chairman Vincent Gray
Councilmember Jack Evans
Press release announcing auditors for Office of Tax and Revenue investigation
December 4, 2007




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Council of the District of Columbia
Office of Chairman Vincent C. Gray
The John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

December 4, 2007
202-724-8164o, 202-262-6956 c

Chairman Gray, Councilmember Evans Announce Auditors for OTR Investigation

Today, Chairman Vincent C. Gray, joined by Councilmember Jack Evans, Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, announced the firm of Wilmer Hale has been chosen to investigate the alleged fraud and embezzlement in the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue.

The Council passed a resolution on November 20, 2007 that formed an “Office of Tax and Revenue Investigation Special Committee” which gives the Council authority to engage outside counsel and a financial auditing firm to facilitate and expedite the Council’s investigation. The Special Committee’s purpose is to investigate the management, procedures, control systems and structures within the Office of Tax and Revenue of the Office of Chief Financial Officer that permitted millions of dollars of District tax funds to be stolen, and to determine the steps necessary to prevent a recurrence of these illicit activities. More specifically, the objectives are:

  • To review the scope of the investigation into the theft of millions of District taxpayer dollars from the Office of Tax and Revenue of the Office of the Chief Financial officer and the adequacy of this investigation in exposing all facts associated with this fraud and embezzlement.
  • To determine the weaknesses in internal controls that permitted millions of dollars to be stolen.
  • To determine the areas which need to be strengthened in order to prevent a recurrence.
  • To determine if there were failures, and the extent and scope of such failures, in established external controls that should have detected this theft.
  • To determine if there were previous signs of fraudulent activity and why they were ignored or went unheeded.
  • To ensure the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan of correction.
  • To strengthen the Council’s role in oversight and monitoring of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, recognizing that the OCFO was created by the Congress of the United States during the control period and that the Congress established the duties and still sets the compensation level of the Chief Financial Officer.

The Council’s November 15th public oversight hearing on the operations of the Office of Tax and Revenue marked the beginning of the Council’s inquiry into the facts surrounding this situation. Today’s action will culminate in a report of findings and recommendations on each of the stated objectives.

“We recognize and appreciate there is an ongoing criminal investigation and the Chief Financial Officer himself is taking aggressive steps to uncover how this situation occurred,” said Chairman Gray. “However, the Chief Financial Officer’s important and necessary actions are not a substitute for the role of the city’s legislative body.”

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