Chartwells School Dining Services President Rhonna Cass has informed the Washington DC City Council that Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality is exiting its dining services contract with the DC Public Schools (DCPS). The contractor, a joint partnership of Chartwells and minority-owned Thompson Hospitality Services, had been serving the DC school system since 2008 and its deal was up for renewal before the DC City Council for the 2015-16 school year.
Chartwells-Thompson recently settled a whistleblower lawsuit for $19 million that alleged it had mismanaged the dining program and overcharged the city. In her letter, Cass reiterated the company’s “vehement disagree[ment] with the allegations” and noted that “we chose to resolve this matter amicably instead of litigating which would have lasted for years and served as a significant distraction to us, DCPS and the District…Our hope was this resolution would allow us all to move past the distractions and return our collective focus to serving students.
“Recently, it has become clear to us that we are no longer a valued partner to DCPS," she added. "As such, we think the best course is for us to exit the contract and allow DCPS to move forward in another direction.”
Chartwells-Thompson has developed a transition plan that would keep it operating through the summer before turning operations over to a new management entity, Cass concluded.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]