The District's chief financial officer might be delaying his retirement.

Natwar Gandhi, who announced on Feb. 1 that he would leave office in June, told Mayor Vincent Gray in a letter Monday that he was willing to remain on the job until his successor "is legally authorized to take office."

"I recognize that the amount of time necessary for you to initiate and complete the executive search process for my replacement, as well as for full consideration and approval by the D.C. Council and review by the U.S. Congress, may extend beyond June 1 of this year," Gandhi, 72, wrote. "I am willing to continue to serve as chief financial officer until such time as my successor is legally authorized to take office."

Gray announced last week that he had named former Mayor Anthony Williams and Alice Rivlin, who was the No. 2 official at the Federal Reserve, to co-chair a search committee.

Gandhi surprised city officials earlier this month with his retirement announcement, which came less than a year after Gray named him to a new term of five years

"This was not an easy decision," Gandhi wrote in his resignation letter. "I feel comfortable retiring at this time because the city is in excellent financial condition, perhaps the best in its history."

Gandhi came under intense criticism last year for personnel decisions and his office's handling of commercial property assessments, but his spokesman has characterized the retirement as rooted in "purely personal reasons."