November 30, 2017 at 1:10 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Lesbian deputy mayor violated ‘babysitting’ rule
Courtney Snowden, gay news, Washington Blade

Courtney Snowden, Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity, violated D.C. personnel rules in 2015. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. Office of the Inspector General last week issued a report saying it found that Courtney Snowden, the city’s Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity, violated D.C. personnel rules in 2015 when she reportedly instructed her staff to engage in babysitting duties for her 8-year-old child.

Snowden, a lesbian who has worked on LGBT rights issues in previous private sector roles, is Mayor Muriel Bowser’s highest-ranking openly LGBT appointee.

The 11-page report signed by D.C. Inspector General Daniel W. Lucas says an investigation substantiated an allegation made in an anonymous complaint received by the IG’s Office that Snowden instructed “staff to watch her minor child in the office and pick the child up from school during government working hours.”

It says her action violated a personnel policy prohibiting the “Ordering, directing, or requesting subordinate officers or employees to perform during regular working hours any personal services not related to official District government functions or activities.”

The IG report, which the Washington Post first disclosed in a story on Monday, says Bowser informed the IG’s Office that Snowden “admitted that her ‘conduct was not appropriate and expressed remorse.’”

The report says the mayor stated further that “appropriate management action has been taken and conducted” by her office “regarding the substantiated allegation.”

Snowden has declined to comment on the matter.

Anu Rangappa, a spokesperson for the mayor, told the Post that Bowser remains confident in Snowden’s ability to do her job.

“Deputy Mayor Snowden is working on behalf of District residents to address inequities holding back our most vulnerable citizens from achieving their full potential,” Rangappa told the Post in a statement. “Any issues raised have been addressed, and the mayor has full confidence in Deputy Mayor Snowden’s ability to continue to deliver for District residents,” the Post quoted the statement as saying.

The report says the IG’s office investigated four additional allegations by the same anonymous complaint, three of which claimed Snowden improperly interacted with clients she worked with while employed by the Raben Group, a public affairs firm that engages in lobbying among other activities. It says a fourth allegation claimed Snowden retaliated against members of her staff after they “raised ethical concerns about Deputy Mayor Snowden’s conduct.”

The report says none of these four allegations were substantiated.

“Courtney is a terrific leader,” Robert Raben, founder and CEO of the Raben Group, told the Blade. “She works her tail off for the people of the District, day in and day out, night and day,” said Raben, an attorney who’s gay and who served in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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