This is Dr. Rochelle Webb (University of Phoenix), former nominee for the head of DOES. Late Friday, the word got out, first to Alan Suderman, that she’d been fired from her position at the agency. Webb, who has been staying at the W Hotel downtown to the tune of almost $5,000, and had been driven to and from work by a staffer, against job descriptions for all involved, has been lately embroiled over the above, and the job that the city found for her son.
The city’s unemployment rate is above 9%, with some wards closer to 25%, and is in dire need of good job training services, which is the mission of DOES. Watching the Mayor struggle with his choice, and then terminating her appointment over some (very) poor choices about moving expenses, it’s setting the Mayor’s agenda on employment issues back six months.
With Gerri Mason Hall out the door this week related to Sulaimon Brown’s scandal, Gray is short a fall guy for this particular scandal. Given the number of incidents since Gray took office in January, I’m not exactly sure who in their right mind who go to work for the DC government in an executive capacity.
Oh I don’t know, perhaps someone who is qualified for their position and who isn’t trying to milk the DC government for ridiculous perks (like expensive hotel rooms, jobs for family members, luxury vehicles, and 6 figure salaries that are higher than White House senior staff).
Surely there is someone willing to do honest work, for only a high but reasonable salary.
I.E. someone not from the old Marion Barry era.
Sure, but would anyone want to potentially damage their reputation by taking that job? It’s not that I don’t think there are qualified candidates out there, it’s that I think no qualified candidates would want to take the risk of taking this job.
I think that now that Gray is being forced to get rid of all of his first choice patronage selections, there will be a public perception that he’ll have to be much more careful in who he chooses from now on (and therefore that anyone chosen going forward is actually qualified for their position, so in that way I think it could help the reputation of the person selected).
So while I think this will reflect badly on anyone else who was one of his other “first choice” appointees, it might actually help anyone who comes in after an ousted, unqualified person.