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D.C. Council To Hold Hearing On Disputed Parks Contracts

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The D.C. Council is holding a hearing this week to find out why the city's housing authority awarded tens of millions of dollars in contracts without their approval.

The council is required to sign off on any contract worth more than $1 million. But council members say the mayor's office went around them and funneled a dozen contracts through the housing authority for the projects.

The deals were worth about $72 million and were awarded to a pair of companies with ties to the mayor. The D.C. Housing Authority is independent of the city government, and D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles says the contracts are legal and binding, although last week he said the deals needed council approval.

Councilwoman Mary Cheh says she has asked several top ranking members of Mayor Fenty's administration to appear Friday, including Deputy Mayor Valerie Santos and City Administrator Neil Albert.

Patrick Madden reports...

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