Several days after an ABC 7 News investigation uncovered mismanagement and lackluster services at DC YouthLink, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is calling on the Attorney General to investigate the program's management.
Mayor Gray was one of the city leaders who was not available for comment in the days following the release of the findings, which show that the program has spent millions of dollars on contracts that failed to provide vital services to the District's most at-risk young people.
When asked about the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services at his weekly press briefing, Gray quickly deferred questions to the department's director, Neil Stanley.
Stanley says that from January of 2012 through now, no one served by a DYRS program have either been victims of perpetrators of a homicide. However, ABC7's investigation revealed that the rate of teens getting rearrested has not improved. In addition, 30 DC YouthLink enrollees have been victims of or suspects in homicides since the program began.
"We're much more dedicated, much more serious, much more transparent, and we're holding folks accountable," Stanley said.
When questions were asked about claims that no money was ever paid to DC YouthLink providers without documentation, though, Gray immediately pulled Stanley from the podium.
The mayor says that if information gleaned from the I-Team investigation would benefit the program, they'd be happy to work with it.
"Please work with us (and) give us the information you have, and I promise you we will continue to effectuate improvement," Mayor Gray said.