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Fenty Friend Grilled By Council Over Contract

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By Patrick Madden

The D.C. Council is looking into why a friend and fraternity brother of Mayor Adrian Fenty won a city contract despite having little engineering experience.

It took months, and a subpoena to get Sinclair Skinner before the city council. Despite having few qualifications and little experience, his engineering firm scored a lucrative contract last year from a firm that was also run by a close friend and fraternity brother of Mayor Fenty.

For five hours, Skinner was grilled by a special investigator and later by members of the council.

Skinner's firm was contracted to perform surveying work for some parks and recreation projects. It contracted the work out at a low rate, marked it up five-fold and made a considerable profit.

Skinner also denied using his friendship with the mayor to drum up business, and he says he never tells anyone he knows Fenty. But Skinner added he never has to because, in his words, it's pretty well covered.

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