J.C. Hayward: A Long-Time Local Benefactor And WUSA Anchor Awaits A Legal Resolution

Source: Emma Brown / The Washington Post

J.C. Hayward’s last noon broadcast began like any other, with orchestral theme music and the top headlines of the hour.

It was Oct. 1, the first day of a partial government shutdown that would dominate Washington news for weeks, and there was Hayward, pivoting to lighter fare with a short take on two National Aquarium alligators heading to a new life in Louisiana. She then emerged from behind the WUSA (Channel 9) anchor’s desk to interview a cancer survivor whose story inspired a feature film.

Shortly before Hayward appeared on air that first day of October – dressed as glamorously as ever in a pale pink suit and a pair of towering slingback heels – the D.C. attorney general filed a lawsuit naming her as one of five people involved in an effort to divert millions of dollars from a city charter school for troubled teens.

As chairwoman of Options Public Charter School, the complaint said, Hayward allegedly signed off on lucrative contracts that funneled local and federal tax dollars to two for-profit companies founded and run by school managers. Hayward allegedly helped incorporate one of the companies named in the civil lawsuit, a company that according to several people familiar with the investigation is now under federal scrutiny.

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