June 20, 2018

Each student attending a D.C. Public School or D.C. Public Charter School who does not have a parent or guardian who lives in the District must pay out-of-state tuition as required by District law. Requiring non-residents to pay out-of-state tuition ensures that children who live in the District do not lose out on the educational benefits to which they are entitled.  Non-residents who do not pay the required tuition may face liability for repayment, additional damages, and penalties.

Recently, parents of students attending Duke Ellington School of the Arts received non-residency notices from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about how non-resident tuition enforcement works:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)?

OSSE is the agency primarily responsible for identifying non-resident families who should be paying out-of-state tuition, and then collecting that tuition. OSSE can investigate residency by taking steps such as reviewing enrollment forms, student files maintained by the school, and publicly available records to determine residency. OSSE then sends a letter to those who are suspected to be non-residents identifying the next steps of OSSE’s investigation.  If a parent cannot confirm District residency and does not resolve the issues of non-residency and payment of non-resident tuition with OSSE, or if OSSE believes there could be fraud, OSSE can refer that case to the Office of the Attorney General for further investigation and potential civil action.

What are the options for parents who receive a non-residency notice from OSSE?

OSSE notifies families suspected of being non-residents with a notice letter, in writing by regular and certified mail at their address on record, of their right to administrative review. These families have 10 business days from the date of the letter to respond in one of two options:

  1. Accept the non-residency finding and make arrangements to pay the non-resident tuition owed for the 2017-18 school year; or
  2. Contest the non-residency finding through an administrative review before the Office of Administrative Hearings.

If a family fails to respond to the notice within 10 business days from the date of the letter, OSSE’s non-residency finding will become a final agency decision, the family will owe tuition for the 2017-18 school year, and OAG may file a lawsuit under the False Claims Act or other theories. 

What can Duke Ellington parents that have recently received non-residency notices from OSSE do next? 

Some parents of Duke Ellington students may have received two letters stating that: (1) their child is not a District resident; (2) their cases have been referred to OAG; and (3) advising them of next steps. These notices have been withdrawn by OSSE. However, parents may receive another non-residency notice, which will identify the next steps for that family.

In preparation for additional instructions from OSSE, here are some steps parents can take proactively:

  • Organize and gather documents to establish District residency: If a Duke Ellington parent is concerned they might receive another non-residency notice or is worried they might be the subject of a non-residency investigation by OSSE, they can begin to gather document(s) needed to establish District residency, or additional information OSSE requests, or make arrangements to pay non-resident tuition owed. While OSSE will only demand a tuition payment for the current school year, OAG may pursue legal action for non-payment for previous school years, so arranging to pay the full amount owed is useful in fully resolving a non-residency finding.
  • Follow OSSE’s instructions: If a Duke Ellington parent receives another non-residency notice, they should follow the verification or payment options outlined by OSSE in the letter.    

What is the role of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG)?

When a non-resident case is referred by OSSE, OAG independently investigates the case to determine whether there is fraud and what next steps are appropriate. OAG’s investigation may cover school years other than the current school year or additional students enrolled in other years.  If OAG determines that there is no tuition fraud, no further action is taken. If OAG determines that tuition fraud has occurred, it can file a lawsuit under the False Claims Act or other theories.

What are the consequences if OAG files a lawsuit against parents suspected of non-resident tuition fraud?

If convicted of non-resident tuition fraud, a person could be liable for the amount of tuition owed, which may be tripled as damages under the False Claims Act, and penalties. Since OAG began civil enforcement of tuition fraud claims in 2012, it has obtained 13 monetary judgments and 15 out-of-court settlements totaling approximately $1.6 million. Most of these funds are being collected through periodic payments or garnishments of wages.

Plantiffs' Memorandum of Law in Support of Plantiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss of Defendant in his Individual Capacity

Below are a list of contracts awarded by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) over $100,000.

Per 27 DCMR Chapter 50, Section  5023.1, the following documents are available upon request.

  1. The solicitation and all amendments thereto;
  2. The contract and all modifications thereto;
  3. Determinations and findings; and
  4. Change orders.

Abacus Next Licenses and Support - OAG-FY17-F-0002

Solicitation No.

OAG-FY17-F-0002

Contract/Task Order Agreement No.

OAG-FY17-T-0002

Vendor

Public Performance Management

Caption/Commodity/Services

Abacus Next Licenses and Support

Dollar Amount

$940,625.00

Contract type

Firm Fixed Price

Market Type

CBE Set-Aside to DCSS

Procurement Method

Request for Task Order Bid

Award Date

August 7, 2017

Period of Performance  

8/7/17 – 8/6/18

OAG Renovations - OAG-FY17-F-0004

Solicitation No.

OAG-FY17-F-0004

Contract/Task Order Agreement No.

OAG-FY17-C-0004

Vendor

Consys , Inc.

Caption/Commodity/Services

OAG Renovations  

Dollar Amount

$858,067.00

Contract Type

Firm Fixed Price

Market Type

CBE Set-Aside

Procurement Method

Request for Task Order Bid

Award Date

August 31, 2017

Period of Performance 

8/7/17 – 2/2/18

Drupal Engineering Services - OAG-FY18-F-0005

Solicitation No.

OAG-FY18-F-0005

Contract/Task Order Agreement No.

OAG-FY18-T-0005

Vendor

Courage 

Caption/Commodity/Services

Drupal Engineering Services  

Dollar Amount

NTE $144,000.00

Contract Type

Labor Hour

Market Type

CBE Set-Aside

Procurement Method

Request for Task Order Proposal

Award Date

December 13, 2017

Period of Performance 

12/13/17 – 5/31/18

GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

 

 

POSITION VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

 

*AMENDED*

 

This position is being reposted. Previous applicants need not reapply; all candidates will be considered.

ANNOUNCEMENT NO:       #18-027

POSITION TITLE:  

TRIAL ATTORNEY (DUI Prosecutor)

POSITION GRADE & SERIES:  LS 12/1 to 14/1

SALARY RANGE:   $81,246 – 114,171

 

Salary in this range will be based on a multitude of factors including applicable rules, regulations and guidelines. 

OPENING DATE:   May 18, 2018

CLOSING DATE:   May 28, 2018

DURATION OF APPOINTMENT: Permanent

AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to the Public

WORKSITE LOCATION:

Office of the Attorney General

   for the District of Columbia

Public Safety Division, Criminal Section

441 4th Street NW

Washington, DC 20001

NO. OF VACANCIES:  One (1)

This position is in the collective bargaining unit represented by AFGE Local 1403 and you may be required to pay an agency service fee through direct payroll deduction.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES:   The Criminal Section prosecutes adults who commit certain types of offenses within the District of Columbia.  Specifically, the Section prosecutes all traffic offenses, including impaired driving, quality of life offenses, certain types of fraud matters against government agencies, and other offenses the D.C. Code designated to OAG’s prosecutorial authority.  The Public Safety Division is seeking candidates for the position of Trial Attorney/Driving under the Influence (DUI) Prosecutor for the Criminal Section.  The selected candidate will work under the supervision of the Section Chief and Assistant Section Chiefs to enhance the Section’s prosecutions of impaired drivers. 

The Assistant Attorney General/DUI Prosecutor will maintain a caseload comprised of the most serious DUI matters, focusing on those cases that involve the highest alcohol scores, impairment by drugs, major crashes and fatalities, children in the vehicle, commercial drivers, and/or repeat offenders.  The individuals selected for these positions will work with the Traffic Resource Safety Prosecutor (TSRP) and three other DUI Prosecutors to serve as the Criminal Section’s experts on impaired driving issues, to coordinate with law enforcement on impaired driving investigations, and to coordinate the training of other Criminal Section prosecutors and of law enforcement personnel. 

QUALIFICATIONS:  The successful candidate should have prior criminal litigation experience.  The candidate must have at least one year of trial experience for Grade 12 Step 1, and ten years trial experience for Grade 14 Step 1. Knowledge of D.C. Superior Court is desirable but not required. Experience in trying cases related to impaired driving is strongly preferred. 

ELIGIBILITY:  The successful candidate must have a law degree and be an active member in good standing of the bar of any jurisdiction.  If not a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the candidate must be sworn into the District of Columbia Bar within 360 days of his/her initial appointment with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. 

OTHER INFORMATION:  The selected candidate will be subject to a background investigation including reference checks.

Please see below attachment for more details.

State AGs Must Fill The CFPB Void, But That's Not Enough

By Attorney General Karl A. Racine, originally appearing in Law360.

Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau successfully sued a group of companies that had flagrantly violated usury laws in several states. Lawyers for the agency alleged that NDG Financial Corp. and associated businesses had run “a cross-border online payday lending scheme” that not only charged interest rates well above state legal limits but used “unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices to collect on the loans and profit from the revenues.” A federal court entered a default judgment against several of the uncooperative defendants, and the rest of the suit was pending.

But then Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s interim CFPB head, not only dropped the lawsuit, but announced in a report to Congress that he is dropping sanctions against the parties that the court had already judged at fault.

That’s just one example of Mulvaney letting alleged law violators in the industry get away scot-free. In March, Reuters reported that, under Mulvaney, the CFPB did an abrupt about-face in its pursuit of another payday lender, National Credit Adjusters, and was considering backing off on three other suits that had been approved under the previous CFPB director, Richard Cordray. Those cases alleged abusive business practices and sought $60 million in restitution for consumers.

Perhaps this is what we should expect from a CFPB run by Mulvaney — who in his previous life as a Republican congressman from South Carolina received more than $60,000 in donations from the payday lending industry and who recently told a group of bankers (according to the Washington Post) that when he was in Congress, he only listened to lobbyists who had given him money. But where does that leave the consumers the CFPB is intended to protect?

Payday loans are taken out by consumers who need fast cash to make ends meet. They are usually due in two weeks, and are tied to the borrower’s paycheck cycle. Industry leaders claim that the loans are designed to help consumers cover unexpected or emergency expenses — but the reality is that these loans, especially when loosely regulated, often drag people into ongoing debt when they can least afford it. And the industry has a perverse incentive to keep it that way.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, payday borrowers are disproportionately low-income and living on the edge: The average annual income of a payday borrower is about $30,000, and 58 percent have trouble meeting their monthly expenses. Indeed, seven in 10 payday borrowers use the loans to cover basic expenses like rent and utilities, not extraordinary expenses. And doing so buries them in revolving debt: The average payday loan borrower is in debt for five months of the year and spends an average of $520 in fees to borrow an average of $375. 

With $9 billion in interest and other fees on the line, according to Pew research, it’s obvious why the industry wants to keep milking lower-income people of as much cash as possible.

While Cordray was at the CFPB, the agency proposed a new regulation that would better protect consumers from the industry’s worst practices. The rule would have required payday lenders to ensure that a consumer could actually afford a payday loan before issuing it. The rule would also have limited the number of times a lender could “roll over” payday loans — thereby making it more difficult for the lower-income consumers who make up the vast majority of payday borrowers to get caught in endless cycles of revolving debt.

After taking over the agency, Mulvaney put that rulemaking on hold, while the Senate considers killing it altogether. Meanwhile, payday lenders are circling the courts, armed with lawsuits seeking to block the rule. 

Without a national rule, consumers would be left to the mercies of state legislatures and regulators. That might be fine for the residents of the District of Columbia, where we cap effective interest rates at 24 percent (largely outlawing payday lenders). But in the 36 states with no effective anti-usury laws, payday loans are available at unconscionable average annual interest rates (per the Pew Charitable Trusts) of 391 percent. Moreover, payday lending on the internet is increasingly common, meaning that the District of Columbia and states with strong usury laws must often go to great lengths to pursue out-of-state lenders who have unlawfully taken advantage of our residents.

This is why we need a strong national voice for protecting all consumers. The original vision of the CFPB was to be that advocate in the financial services industry, instituting nationwide regulations and bringing enforcement powers to bear against payday lenders and other companies that abuse consumers.

When the CFPB plays this role, I and other attorneys general have a partner with which we can more effectively confront abusive business practices within our borders and win relief. For example, the CFPB filed suit against an online payday lender — CashCall — that unlawfully operated in the district and other states that outlaw payday lending. My office also filed a suit against CashCall alleging that the lender had violated district laws by charging consumers interest rates that ranged from 80 to 169 percent.

The CFPB won a ruling in 2016 that CashCall was guilty of deceptive and abusive business practices, and our office recently settled our lawsuit against CashCall, gaining nearly $3 million in restitution and debt forgiveness for consumers in the district.

Payday lending is far from being the only area where the CFPB’s national leadership has proved invaluable. Since the agency began operations in 2011, it has handled more than a million consumer complaints and returned nearly $12 billion to the pockets of more than 29 million consumers wronged by financial institutions — five times more than the agency itself costs taxpayers to fund. The CFPB has reached multiple settlements with banks, debt collectors and other predatory lenders that harmed consumers.

It also took the strategic lead on regulating other key industries that preyed on vulnerable consumers. For example, partnering with several state attorneys general, the CFPB took action against a number of predatory for-profit colleges, forcing them to pay restitution to consumers the schools lured in with unrealistic promises of a degree and gainful employment.

Now, with Mulvaney gutting the CFPB and giving more leeway to financial miscreants in the name of Mulvaney’s new “strategic priorities” to “recognize free markets and consumer choice,” the burden of standing up to giant, deep-pocketed financial institutions falls more heavily on state attorneys general with the resources and willingness to stand up for the consumers they serve.

One way attorneys general are stepping up is in joining amicus briefs opposing Mulvaney’s appointment as interim director and seeking to preserve the CFPB’s independence in the wake of Mulvaney’s support for turning the agency into yet another political pawn for Congress and the White House. We will be stepping up our efforts to safeguard consumers in other ways as well by bringing individual and multistate suits against financial services companies that harm consumers.

But, in the end, such efforts are by nature piecemeal and can’t replace the power the CFPB has to protect consumers across all states equally. Our end goal must be to be to pull the CFPB back to its original mission and away from subservience to the financial services industry and its army of well-heeled lobbyists. We cannot in good conscience abide businesses operating on a model of keeping consumers trapped in a web of indebtedness while an agency that has “consumer financial protection” in its name decides its strategic priority is to no longer financially protect consumers.

In keeping with the District of Columbia’s commitment to transparency in contracting and increased competition, the Office of Attorney General now provides a Notice of Intent to Award Sole Source Contracts. All notices are posted for ten (10) days prior to the award of a sole source contract. If you believe that an intended sole source award noted below is not justified, please provide your response to the email address for the point of contact for that proposed award by the response due date. 

Notice Date Response Due Date Contract/Caption Description Vendor Name Agency Contract Officer Email
05/09/18 05/18/18 Child Support Enforcement System Maintenance

Auctor Corporation

Determination & Findings

Office of the Attorney General Sanaz Etminan
Sanaz.Etminan@dc.gov

 

GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

 

 

POSITION VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

ANNOUNCEMENT NO:       #18-033

POSITION TITLE:  

ATTORNEY ADVISOR

(Land Use and Public Works)

POSITION GRADE & SERIES: LS-13/1 to 14/10

SALARY RANGE:   $96,623 – $148,443

 

Salary in this range will be based on a multitude of factors including applicable rules, regulations and guidelines. 

OPENING DATE:   May 10, 2018

CLOSING DATE:  May 31, 2018

DURATION OF APPOINTMENT: 13-monthTerm

AREA OF CONSIDERATION:  Open to the Public

WORKSITE LOCATION:

Office of the Attorney General

   for the District of Columbia

Commercial Division

Land Use and Public Works Section

441 4th Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20001

NO. OF VACANCIES:  One (1)

This position is in the collective bargaining unit represented by AFGE Local 1403 and you may be required to pay an agency service fee through direct payroll deduction.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES:   The Land Use and Public Works Section provides legal assistance to District agencies with respect to land use planning, zoning, historic preservation, and the use of public space. 

The successful candidate will be responsible for attending, and providing legal guidance at, meetings and hearings of the Zoning Commission (ZC) (all held in the evening) and the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA). He or she will work closely with the Director of the Office of Zoning and the Secretaries to the ZC and BZA in identifying potential legal issues arising before both bodies and will respond by providing memoranda of legal advice. The attorney will review complex orders filed in rulemakings and contested cases for legal sufficiency and draft such orders. In addition, the attorney will review covenants required in order to transfer development credits, effectuate planned unit developments, or close a public street or alley. 

QUALIFICATIONS:  Candidates must have at least five (5) years’ experience, preferably in land use law.  Candidates must also possess strong legal writing, analytical, and negotiation skills, possess knowledge of land use principles, and demonstrate familiarity with administrative procedures applicable to rulemakings and contested cases. Additionally, past experience analyzing and drafting statutes and rules, the ability to understand complex land use transactions, commitment to providing the highest level of customer service, and ability to work with agency staff are important. 

ELIGIBILITY:  The successful candidate must have a law degree and be an active member in good standing of the bar of any jurisdiction with the ability to be sworn into the District of Columbia Bar within 360 days of his/her initial appointment. 

OTHER INFORMATION:  The selected candidate will be subject to a background investigation including reference checks.

Please see below attachment for details.

GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

 

 

POSITION VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

ANNOUNCEMENT NO:       #18-032

 

POSITION TITLE:  

TRIAL ATTORNEY – 3 vacancies

(Child Protection Section)

POSITION GRADE & SERIES:  LS 12/2 to 13/3

SALARY RANGE:   $83,956 – $103,063

 

Salary in this range will be based on a multitude of factors including applicable rules, regulations and guidelines. 

OPENING DATE:   May 8, 2018

CLOSING DATE:   May 18, 2018

DURATION OF APPOINTMENT: Permanent

AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to the Public

WORKSITE LOCATION:

Office of the Attorney General

   for the District of Columbia

Family Services Division

200 I Street SE (4th Floor)

Washington, DC 20001

NO. OF VACANCIES:  Three (3)

This position is in the collective bargaining unit represented by AFGE Local 1403 and you may be required to pay an agency service fee through direct payroll deduction.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES:   The Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia is seeking three trial attorneys for the Family Services Division, Child Protection Section.

 Attorneys in the Child Protection Sections represent the District of Columbia on behalf of the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) in an attorney-client relationship in child abuse and neglect cases in the Family Court of the D.C. Superior Court. There are four Child Protection Sections and attorneys in these sections handle all aspects of child neglect litigation on behalf of the District and CFSA, from petitioning through the achievement of permanency. Attorneys are responsible for petitioning new cases alleging child abuse or neglect, propounding and/or responding to discovery, filing and/or responding to pre-trial motions, participating in mediation, preparing witnesses to testify at trial, and presenting evidence at trial.

 The attorneys also represent CFSA post-adjudication with the goal of ultimately securing a safe and permanent home for children through reunification, adoption or guardianship. In the post-adjudication phase of a neglect case, attorneys are responsible for representing CFSA at review of disposition, status and permanency hearings, participating in evidentiary hearings, filing motions and responsive pleadings. In addition, the attorneys provide advice and counsel to social workers and other professionals from CFSA regarding compliance with local and federal law, participate in team meetings as necessary, and work with various multi-disciplinary team members. Attorneys simultaneously maintain a trial caseload and post-adjudication caseload.

 QUALIFICATIONS:  The successful candidate must have 3-7 years of experience, and must possess strong negotiation, litigation and analytical skills. A demonstrated commitment to work in the area of child welfare is preferred, but not required.

ELIGIBILITY:  The successful candidate must have a law degree and be an active member in good standing of the bar of any jurisdiction.  If not a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the candidate must be sworn into the District of Columbia Bar within 360 days of his/her initial appointment with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

 OTHER INFORMATION:  The selected candidate will be subject to a background investigation including reference checks.

Emoluments: Motion to Dismiss on Behalf of Defendant in his Individual Capacity

Kids have a better shot at a successful future when they are in the classroom learning. Policies that focus on preventing truancy support the most marginalized youth and increase public safety. This is why Attorney General Racine is combatting truancy in three ways: a program encouraging students to attend school; a program offering social supports to students who are truant; and a program for parents that helps them address attendance barriers for their children.

“I Belong Here” Program

The “I Belong Here” program is an effort to reduce truancy and encourage student attendance at an early age through a year-long attendance competition between classrooms. OAG staff serve as ambassadors for sixth-grade and seventh-grade homerooms, leading lesson plans on topics such as responsibility and empathy. Currently piloted at Sousa Middle School, the program is designed to disrupt the negative behaviors associated with truancy rates and positively reinforce the idea that students belong in school. Sousa Middle School was recently recognized as one of the schools with the most improved attendance rates in the District.

Social Supports for Truant Students

OAG is the agency responsible for prosecuting delinquent youth—but Attorney General Racine believes that for truancy, prosecution and involvement in the juvenile justice system should be the last resort, reserved for only the most chronically truant students after other social supports and school efforts have failed. To help support students, OAG partnered with the Department of Human Services (DHS) to implement a truancy reduction diversion program called the TRIAGE (Truancy Reduction Initiative and Gateway to Empowerment) Diversion Program. The TRIAGE program employs a functional family therapist who is co-located at OAG to help review all cases that are eligible for diversion; the therapist also links families with services. These behavioral health and community support services help youth and their families address root causes of truancy, while minimizing the likelihood of reoffending.   

Helping Parents Address Attendance Barriers

Working closely with the D.C. Superior Court and other stakeholders, OAG launched a diversion program to better serve the needs of parents who are subject to prosecution for failing to send their children to school—ATTEND (Abating Truancy Through Engagement and Negotiated Dialogue) Mediation Program. The Court’s Multi-Door Dispute Resolution program mediates cases between parents and the school in a neutral environment and links the parents through the Mayor’s Services Liaison Office (MSLO) to appropriate community-based services in lieu of prosecution. The goal of the program is to help children and their families address the underlying issues causing the chronic absenteeism while minimizing the likelihood of repeat referrals and giving parents the opportunity to avoid a criminal record.