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Sent at 5:05 p.m.:

(Washington, DC) – Chairman Kwame [“Fully Loaded”] Brown made the following statement today regarding the District’s lease of the Lincoln Navigator assigned to the Office of the Chairman by the Department of Public Works (DPW):

“I apologize for the disruption this has caused, and I regret that I appeared insensitive to the financial challenges our city and residents face.  As Chairman of the Council, it is my duty to make responsible fiscal decisions regarding the District’s use of tax payer dollars.  The fact that DPW procured the vehicle for nearly $2,000 a month is an unacceptable use of city funds.

I have made that clear to DPW Director, Bill Howland, and returned the vehicle to DPW today.  DPW, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, will make a determination regarding the disposition of the lease.  I intend to reimburse the city for my share of the use of the vehicle once the Attorney General renegotiates the lease agreement.

To be clear, I have returned the only vehicle of which I have had possession in my capacity as Chairman of the Council.  The first Lincoln Navigator procured by DPW was returned to DPW, and it was my understanding that the vehicle would be returned to the leasing company at no cost to the District.  I learned just this weekend that the vehicle was maintained as part of the District fleet.

I look forward to continuing to focus on education reform, getting our people back to work and getting the District’s economy back on track.”