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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DC hands ou 15M in bonuses despite recession

Washington Examiner:

The economy has been in the dumps for years, but the good times keep on rolling
for some favored D.C. employees.
City officials have doled out nearly $15
million in bonuses and awards since Mayor Adrian Fenty took office in January
2007, records obtained by The Examiner under the Freedom of Information Act
Among the big winners were Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who was
handed $41,250 in August 2007 after barely two months on the job; Department of
Health Director Pierre Vigilance, who was given $15,000 in 2008; and city
property manager Robin-Eve Jasper, handed $18,000 over two

More than 5,700 city employees have been given $14.9 million
in bonuses since January 2007. Among the big winners:
» Michelle Rhee, schools chancellor, $41,250 in 2007
» Mary Clegg, schools superintendent executive, $25,000 in 2009
» Karen Griffin, schools special education executive, $25,000 in 2008
» Eric Stanchfield, D.C. Retirement Board, $21,997 in 2009
» Anthony Pompa, finance office executive, $21,796 in 2008
» Robin-Eve Jasper, city property manager, $18,000 from 2008-09
» Pierre Vigilance, Department of Health director, $15,000 in 2008
The bonuses were ladled out even as the city was facing
nine-figure budget shortfalls and officials -- including Rhee -- were firing
employees by the busload, claiming they could no longer afford

It paid to be on Rhee's good side. School employees,
including Rhee's top staff, accounted for nearly half of the Fenty-era bonuses,
records show. Then-special education "czar" Phyllis Harris was paid $17,000 in
2008; special-ed bureaucrat Karen Griffin was given $25,000 the same year; and
Rhee's chief of staff, Lisa Ruda, was given $17,000 in 2008, records
Under Rhee, standardized test scores in the public schools have made
marginal improvements. Fourth-graders' test result are now only the fourth-worst
in the nation; eighth-graders' are only the second-worst.

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