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Good morning sweet readers! LL is no financial expert but is pretty sure the best thing to do right now is cash in what’s left of your 401(k) and start buying sacks of rice and beans. News time:
If Not Now, When?: The Post editorial board calls out embattled Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.‘s name on the street, saying he’s too chicken to explain himself and the $300,000 settlement with the attorney general’s office over alleged fraud and misspending of city funds. “Ever since questions were first raised about his fundraising for a supposed charity, Mr. Thomas has blamed his troubles on political enemies and vindictive media. This woe-is-me defense seeks to obscure the facts, including that Mr. Thomas has yet to provide an explanation for his activities.” The editorial also has Thomas’ attorney saying there hasn’t been an “appropriate” setting for Thomas to offer his defense. Hmm, maybe the U.S. Attorney’s Office can fix that.
AFTER THE JUMP: Evans’ Money; More on Yvette; All Hands on Overtime;
Jack’s Cash: It must be hard raising so much money for a re-election campaign when the maximum contribution limit is $500 for ward races. Not so, if you have developer friends with multiple LLCs. WAMU’s Patrick Madden shines a spotlight on the ubiquitous practice of campaign bundling, a practice that Ward 6 Councilmartyr Tommy Wells is trying to curb. Madden combs through recent campaign finance disclosure forms and finds that one Maryland-based realty company gave Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans a dozen donations of $500 each, which adds up to $6,000—considerably more than the law looks, on the face of it, like it would allow, but for some reason, entirely legal when done this way.
Not Over?: Did the Office of Campaign Finance muff its investigation of Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander? So suggests TWT‘s Jeffrey Anderson, who says “OCF neither requested nor received any of the receipts that office holders are required by law to maintain.” Anderson lists some small checks that don’t have memo lines before putting OCF’s spokesman Wesley Williams on the hot seat: ‘Asked why OCF did not request supporting documentation for tens of thousands of dollars in expenditures after having received a constituent complaint and request for investigation, Mr. Williams replied, ‘It wasn’t an audit, so it wouldn’t be so detailed to include that type of information.’ Asked whether any of the interviews conducted during the investigation were accompanied by documentation to support the claims of Ms. Alexander and her staff, he replied, ‘No, but they were under oath.'”
All Hands On Overtime: More confusion over the legality of one of Police Chief Cathy Lanier‘s signature crime fighting tools, the all hands on deck initiative. The District’s Public Employees Relations Board ruled Friday that hundreds of officers are due retroactive overtime pay. The police union says the ruling means AHOD is dead, while Lanier says it’s not.
In Other News:
- Harry Jaffe: D.C. brass takes aim at street cops.
- Watch an old dry cleaning commercial, starring Sinclair Skinner.
- Former IG official sentenced on fraud charges.
- Seven MPD officers could be fired over anti-lesbian attack.
- Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh drafting a proposal for new middle school in Ward 3.
- Did D.C. test scores fall as security tightened?
- DYRS human resources manager fired amid questions about hiring practices.
- Elections board chairman Togo West resigns, no reason given.
Gray sked: 10 a.m. Ribbon Cutting at Chevy Chase Recreation Center. (On a side note, this overly dramatic note arrived in the Chevy Chase listserv: “I just returned from our evening visit to the park, and was astounded to see contractors busily painting the grassy areas green that DPR has not seen fit to water since they were planted. File that one away in the ‘I can’t believe what I just saw’ category. My wife, who grew up in communist China commented that this reminds her of the efforts undertaken to repaint everything in anticipation of when the communist party bosses would visit her town.”)
Council sked: recess.