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WASHINGTON, DC-The heat is on at the DC Office of Property Management, which has the official duty of overseeing the District’s real estate management, construction, custodial and security activities. Two top players in the department have decided to bid adieu to their posts amid a series of inquiries regarding the administering of leasing deals with local real estate developer and owner Douglas Development Corp. Office of property management director Timothy F. Dimond has submitted his resignation and will cease to be employed by the District later this month. His deputy, Michael Lorusso, vacated his post in January.

Investigations from the local to the federal level are currently underway, but Washington, DC Mayor Anthony A. Williams has made it clear he believes Dimond is innocent of any misconduct pertaining to allegations of unlawful activity. “Some of these matters have been referred to the DC Inspector General, the US Attorney General, and the FBI,” mayoral spokesperson Tony Bullock points out in an interview with GlobeSt.com. “It appears District policies and procedures were not followed in the execution of several lease arrangements.” Messages left for Dimond were forwarded to Bullock.

One property involved is the Douglas-owned building at 77 P St. NE. While the address is not listed among the properties available for lease on the Douglas website, District tax records name Cayre Jemal’s Peoples LLC as the property owner; most likely a take on the name of Douglas Development president Douglas Jemal. “In that building, the District is renting several floors,” Bullock notes. “The problem there is whether these leases were properly reviewed; and payments weren’t handled properly either. The DC Council must review and approve all contracts with a value over $1 million a year. This should have come to the council for review–that’s the most glaring issue here.” Apparently, the District committed to paying the company $998,250. “It appears an effort was made to avoid review by the council, and that’s not something this mayor wants to see.” Jemal did not return repeated calls and e-mail requests for comment.

Eyes are also focused on an impound lot in Prince George’s County at 4800 Addison Rd. “There are questions regarding the valuation of that property and our consideration for purchase, and the value of the rent we’re paying there and who authorized it,” Bullock explains. “The mayor is very concerned about these issues. He’s made a real effort to maintain a high level of integrity in this government.” All investigations remain in progress; no criminal charges have been levied as of yet.

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