DC's CFO, Natwar Gandhi, to Resign
Mayor Anthony Williams appointed Ghandi as Chief Financial Officer in 2000.
Natwar Gandhi, the DC Chief Financial Officer, will resign from his position effective June 1 of this year. He was originally appointed by Mayor Anthony Williams in 2000 and was re-appointed by Mayor Vincent Gray to another five-year term last June.
Just last week Gandhi and Gray announced a budget surplus for FY2013, which will bring the Fund Balance to about $1.5 billion—its largest in seven years.
Gandhi offered his resignation to Gray in a letter Friday, calling it "not an easy decision."
Gray called Gandhi "an exemplary steward of the District’s finances" in a press release.
“In the time that he has served as our Chief Financial Officer, he has helped take us from the days of the Control Board to our just-announced $417 million Fiscal Year 2012 surplus,” Gray said.
Gandhi's conservative budget estimates have not made a friend of every member of the District Council, many of whom would like to see monies put towards budget items, rather than the rainy day fund.
But Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans expressed concern about Gandhi's departure.
"While the Mayor and members of the Council have at times criticized Dr. Gandhi’s conservative revenue forecasts, I strongly believe having a surplus at the end of the year is better than finding ourselves with a deficit and the potential reintroduction of a control board," Evans said in a press release.
The Washington Business Journal offers the following insight into the CFO's departure, he "has faced increasing criticism for his role in a D.C. Lottery procurement, his conservative revenue estimates, several instances of theft and fraud that occurred during his watch, and the transparency of his office."
Evans said it is "critical" for the District to have "an independent CFO with a demonstrated commitment to maintaining integrity in financial projections regardless of political pressure."
Evans is the chair of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, which would have a say in Gandhi's replacement.
He said he hopes the mayor will be "thoughtful" in his search for Gandhi's successor.
"While Dr. Gandhi’s departure will mark a huge loss to the District, the opening presents an opportunity to bring in a new perspective in furthering our financial stability and future growth," Evans said.