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What Is DCWatch?
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
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 4, 2007
|CONTACT: DENISE L. REED
202-724-8164o, 202-262-6956 c
Chairman Gray, Councilmember Evans Announce Auditors for OTR
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.”