We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
J.W. Lanum, who oversees contracting and procurement for the multi-billion dollar D.C. Department of General Services, is due in court tomorrow to face a charge of drinking while driving, court records show.
According to police records, a Department of Public Works traffic enforcement official found Lanum asleep at the wheel of an illegally parked car with its engine running outside the Reeves Center, at 14th and U streets NW, where DGS is headquartered. It was just after 3 p.m. on a Friday last September, records show. When the DPW employee tried to wake Lanum, he “became irate and started to yell and curse” at the employee, who then flagged down a police officer, police records show.
Two police officers say they found Lanum inside the car with an open bottle of “Sutter House White Zinfandel,” records say. (Either MPD was confused, or Lanum found a particularly unappealing brand of wine.) When asked if he’d been drinking, Lanum said, “I had one about a half hour ago,” according to police.
Lanum failed all three field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest at the scene, records show. He was charged with DUI and possessing an open container.
This wasn’t the first time Lanum’s been in trouble with authorities. In November 2011, Lanum was charged with possessing an open container of alcohol. The charge was dropped after Lanum entered a diversion program, court records show. Emails and calls to Lanum seeking comment were not immediately returned.
Many years ago, the city’s federally-imposed control board forced Lanum to resign as a District contracting official over allegedly “issuing contracts in violation of the agency’s normal procedures and then allegedly [lying] to a control board staffer to cover up his activities.”