Chairman Mendelson Swears In Kathy Patterson as DC Auditor

Photo by The Georgetown Dish
Council Chair Mendelson (left) swears-in Kathy Patteerson as DC Auditor, as Councilmember Jack Evens looks on
Council Chair Mendelson (left) swears-in Kathy Patteerson as DC Auditor, as Councilmember Jack Evens looks on

Last Thursday, taking time out from participating in the Wilson Building services marking Marion Barry’s death, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson swore in former three-term Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson as DC Auditor.  Established in the Home Rule Charter, the Auditor is the Council’s counterpart to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, assisting the Council in its legislative oversight functions by conducting financial audits, program reviews and evaluations and special inquiries.

Councilmember Evans (left), Chairman Mendelson chat with Kathy Patterson, the newl minted DC Auditor (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Councilmember Evans (left), Chairman Mendelson chat with Kathy Patterson, the newl minted DC Auditor

Lately the Auditor’s reports, with titles like DC Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERAA) Report No. 3 Supplemental andOutcomes of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Employment Program, have, as Mike DeBonis put it in The Washington Post, “tend to land with something less than a thud” (October 10, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/wp/2014/10/10/kathy-pat...), a perception that Mendelson is clearly looking to change.  He wants Patterson to “get beyond boring audits and into issues of waste and fraud and government efficiency [to show how] to make the dollars go further.”  He cites the city’s multi-million dollar school modernization and affordable housing programs as inviting close examination.

Patterson, most recently with the Pew Charitable Trusts, was known for her forceful use of the Council’s oversight powers. In particular, she spearheaded the investigation of the wrongful MPD arrests of protestors in Pershing Park in 2002, leading to large financial settlements.