Former District of Columbia Chancellor Censured Over Donations

By Denisa R. Superville — November 17, 2016 1 min read
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Kaya Henderson, the former District of Columbia Schools Chancellor, was censured by the local ethics board for asking for donations for the city’s schools from a vendor that had a contract with the city, the Associated Press reported.

The solicitation violated city ethics rules, which bar city employees from asking for money, including charitable contributions, from vendors doing business with the city, according to the AP.

The alleged violation occurred when Henderson asked a food services company, Chartwells, to donate $100,000 to a gala honoring teachers, the AP reported. The company made two $25,000 contributions to the event, the news agency reported. At the time the company was embroiled in a whistleblower’s lawsuit that accused it of bilking the city out of $19 million and providing spoiled food to students.

Other vendors holding contracts with the city also donated to the gala, according to the AP.

Henderson told the ethics board that she did not realize that asking for the donation was not allowed, and the board chose not to issue a fine, the AP said. A fine could have been as high as $5,000.

Henderson left her post as chancellor in September after nearly five and a half years. During that period the city’s schools saw gains in student test scores and graduation rates.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.