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The optics look bad for one of the mayor’s top aides.  

Rashad Young—who’s served in a senior role since Muriel Bowser became mayor in 2015—discussed taking a job at Howard University just after he negotiated a multi-million dollar deal there. Bowser is now requesting an ethics review of Young, who abruptly left his position as city administrator on Friday. 

City Paper’s Tom Sherwood first reported the news of Young’s departure, and the Post scooped the ethics review

“We agreed that it was time to draw a bright line between his old job and his new job and that date was on Friday,” said Bowser during her Monday press conference.

It’s unclear what job Young would take, or if he even accepted an offer. What’s clear is Young spearheaded a deal that got Howard University a 20-year tax abatement valued at $225 million so it could build a 225-bed hospital on its current campus, along with a $25 million investment in D.C.’s capital budget and another $26.6 million investment over six years to create “centers of excellence.”  

Young closed the deal—meaning the Council approved the tax break—10 days before Young told Bowser he was in talks with Howard about a job, according to the Post. The Council should “absolutely proceed on its second vote,” said Bowser at Monday’s press conference.

It’s also unclear why Young left. It came as a surprise to many. Some told Sherwood that he clashed too often with Bowser’s chief of staff and newly minted Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. One official told Sherwood that he liked Rashad and, rather ironically, “he never asked me to do anything unethical.”

Bowser picked Kevin Donahue, the deputy mayor for public safety and justice, to be the interim city administrator, on the heels of a mass shooting at a Southeast block party. Homicides are up—a nearly 20 percent increase compared to last year, the deadliest in a decade—and the mayor is having her deputy who’s responsible for both police and violence interrupters take on more responsibilities.  

Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)       

  • At Monday’s press conference, DC Health says contact tracing data, and Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said a substantial number of cases are linked to travel and small gatherings. Nesbitt says a smaller number of cases—5 to 8 percent—are linked to eating at restaurants. [Twitter, Twitter

  • As of Aug. 17, D.C. reported zero deaths related to COVID-19 but 53 new positive cases. The total number of infections is 13,273. The city experienced another peak in community cases, and the transmission rate went above 1 for the second time during Phase 2. [EOM

  • The Metro Transit Police union calls on management to end evaluations based on the number of arrests. [Post

  • Protesters reclaim the H Street NW tunnel near the White House after art elsewhere is taken down. [DCist

  • Black and Latinx homeowners pay higher property taxes as compared to what White homeowners pay for comparable homes. [D.C. Policy Center]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Jack Evans’ first ethics fine is past due. [WCP]

  • People in the Washington area are feeling the delays in mail delivery. [Post]

  • Protesters gathered outside US Postmaster Louis DeJoy’s Kalorama home over the weekend. [DCist]

  • ICYMI: Gov. Larry Hogan and his new chief of staff, Roy McGrath, defend the six-figure severance package McGrath received as he moved from an independent state agency to the governor’s office. [Baltimore Sun]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • How will campus closures impact bars and restaurants that bank on feeding students? [WCP]

  • Meet D.C.’s restaurant safety enforcers. [Post]

  • Restaurant workers worry about their safety and livelihoods. [Post]

  • Michelin is carrying on with its evaluations as if it’s business as usual. [Washingtonian

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Boys State is an endearing and compelling work, our critic writes. [WCP]

  • The National Zoo is on pregnant panda watch. [DCist]

  • ARTECHOUSE combines cocktail pouches with interactive art. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Jason Wright has been named the president of the Washington Football Team, becoming the first Black president of an NFL franchise. [WTOP]

  • The Spirit says goodbye to World Cup hero Rose Lavelle. With Lavelle expected to play abroad, the Spirit have traded her NWSL playing rights to the OL Reign. [Black & Red United]

  • Alex Smith reached another milestone in his recovery from a gruesome leg injury. [ESPN]

  • The Capitals’ season could soon be over after losing three straight games to the Islanders in the first round of the playoffs. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

  • Aníbal Sánchezbecame the second Nats pitcher to be removed from the stands in less than a week for arguing with an ump. [Federal Baseball]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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