Ted Loza, the former top aide to Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham whose trial on corruption charges was set to go to trial later this month, has a plea hearing schedule for 3 p.m. this afternoon, court records show.
Colleague Rend Smith will be at the court and will file a dispatch later today.
In the meantime, here’s some Loza highlights from the City Paper‘s archives.
For starters, check out lengthy piece by Jason Cherkis and Mike DeBonis on Loza’s supertight relationship with Graham that includes this passage:
As the years ticked by, Graham and Loza continued to redefine their relationship, not always in the most savory ways. In December 2005, while on a holiday junket to El Salvador, Loza had sex with a 26-year-old woman there. After Loza returned to Washington, the woman learned she was pregnant and informed Loza, who, according to court documents, arranged for her to come to D.C. on a tourist visa.
After she arrived, Loza pressured the woman to abort the baby, according to court records. Part of Loza’s coercion, the woman would later testify, was physical. “On one occasion, after the parties had driven to get [the woman] a burrito, [she] reiterated that she did not want an abortion,” a judge wrote. “[Loza] became upset and pushed the defendant out of the car. She was not injured. The car door was open, she said.”
Loza’s behavior was troubling enough that the woman’s sister contacted his boss to help intervene. Graham’s reply to that entreaty: “Does thsi conduct involve his professional responsibilities o his behavior on personal issues? Bests Jim.”
Next go here and here for some allegations that Loza got his wife a job at Fiesta D.C., an organization responsible for putting annual Latino festivals in Mount Pleasant that received a bunch of city funding through council earmarks, and at least some of which came from Graham’s committee.
Then, check out Loza telling DeBonis last year outside the courthouse, “I’m innocent. This is bullshit.” And Graham telling Kojo’s listeners: “I run a really tight ship…I’m a hands-on councilmember … Everybody has experienced somebody who has done something they were not aware of.”
And lastly, check out Smith’s reporting on court documents that show Loza sang like a bird when the FBI stopped him in Atlanta as he was coming back from his native Ecuador.
Happy reading, check back after 3 p.m.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery.