Mayor Adrian Fenty's administration has placed Kelly Valentine, the director of the District's embattled Office of Risk Management, on administrative leave.

The Washington Examiner first reported last month that whistleblowers told the FBI that Valentine gave lucrative contracts to her friends. Contracts ranging from health insurance coverage and private investigations were handed off to companies with ties to Valentine, according to whistleblowers.

Last month, Fenty and his attorney general, Peter Nickles, held a news conference where they announced that the District might have to pay $6 million to cover the life insurance premiums the city collected from hundreds of disabled employees over seven years but didn't pass along to the insurance companies.

Nickles asked the city's inspector general to conduct an investigation into Risk Management. Besides the FBI and the inspector general, city Auditor Deborah Nichols and the finance office's integrity team have also begun probes.

Valentine hasn't responded to repeated requests seeking comment.

In addition to the multiple investigations, Risk Management has been besieged by multiple outside contractors demanding payments on outstanding debts.

"Our client is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. We've corresponded, saying we'd like to get paid," Michael Ruggio, an attorney representing workers' compensation contractor Modern Medical, told The Examiner last month.

Claims management contractor Sedgwick CMS and Risk Management have been battling for $1.3 million for months, with Valentine accusing the company of overbilling. But Nickles said the city may need to pay.

Thursday morning, the mayor's office issued a brief statement about Valentine's removal. Later in the day, Fenty told The Examiner that "nothing happened in the last two weeks" to prompt Valentine being placed on leave.

"This is the appropriate management action," he said.

Valentine was one of the District's longest-serving agency heads, with an annual salary of $147,848. A Fenty spokesman did not respond to a question of whether Valentine would continue to draw a paycheck while on leave.

The statement indicated that Fenty loyalist Chip Richardson will move from Fenty's general counsel to ORM's interim director.

Richardson represented Fenty before he was mayor when he was admonished by the D.C. Bar Association for legal malpractice.

Richardson also played a major role in the Fenty administration's ill-fated attempt to donate firetrucks to the Dominican Republic, and has also been admonished by the D.C. Bar Association for failing to pay $28,000 in child support payments.