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Head of beleaguered Office of Risk Management placed on leave

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Capital Land,Alan Suderman

The Fenty administration has placed Kelly Valentine, the director of the District’s embattled Office of Risk Management, on administrative leave, according to a brief statement from the mayor’s office.

An executive meeting has been called to discuss ORM’s problems at 1 p.m. Friday, according to a source.

The Washington Examiner first reported last month that whistleblowers have told the FBI that Valentine gave lucrative contracts to her friends.

The Examiner also first reported in May that city leaders were scrambling to try and fix problems within the agency and the FBI had begun investigation.

Last month, Fenty and his attorney general, Peter Nickles, held a news conference where they announced that the city may have to pay $6 million to cover the life insurance premiums the city collected from hundreds of disabled employees over seven years but didn’t pass along to the insurance companies.

When asked about Valentine’s tenure at that time, Fenty said he would not discuss ORM’s leadership while the department was being investigated.

Thursday’s statement makes no mention of why Valentine was placed on leave, but a spokeswoman said it was related to unpaid premiums. No other details were given.

The statement indicated that Fenty loyalist Chip Richardson will move from Fenty’s general counsel to ORM’s interim director.  Richardson represented Fenty before he was mayor when he was admonished by the D.C. bar association for legal malpractice.  Richardson also played a mayor role in the Fenty administration’s ill-fated attempt to donate fire trucks to the Dominican Republic.

Staff Writer Bill Myers contributed to this report.

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