Posted Nov. 15, 2007 – At least 10 employees who work for the District of Columbia’s tax office have been fired or forced to resign amid a growing scandal that shows no end in sight.
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Apparently, according to city financial reports, over the past seven years, some workers in the Office of Tax and Revenue have written themselves some pretty fat refund checks.
The reports show that they did so by refunding themselves more than $30 million in questionable property tax refunds paid out to fraudulent companies.
"We are going to get rid of additional people," said D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi, who called this the “darkest period” of his 40-year professional life. "This is not the end of it."
This week, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty made his first major comments since the scandal broke.
"I continue to stand right beside Natwar Gandhi now in his current job and in the future,” he said. “He is good for the future of this city."
Said Ghandi, "What we want to assure the mayor, the Council and the citizens at large is that their tax dollars are safe with the Office of Tax and Revenue and with the District Government," said Gandhi.
Last Wednesday, D.C. Deputy Chief Financial Officer Sheryl Hobbs-Newman, pictured above, and three other high-ranking officials were forced out. Gandhi says he’s not going anywhere, and at least one member of the City Council has got his back.
Jack Evans, who chairs the Council's Committee on Finance and Revenue, said, “I have confidence in Nat Ghandi. I don't see how Nat could have prevented it from happening. Certainly we'll talk to him about more internal controls."