Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Ted Loza Sings Like a Bird DYRS Boss Wonders if Absconders Shouldn’t be Picked Up At Slower Pace Update on the Update of David Wilmot’s Pay Up Countdown LL to His Sources: No, You’re Fired Nickles tells David Wilmot to Pay Up … Now! Fallout from Marion Barry “Reality” Show
Good morning sweet readers! There’s plain losing (like the Cowboys did last night), and then there’s Redskins losing, which has to be the worst way to end a football game. News time:
You’re Fired: We begin with the news that Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander is firing her communications director Andre Johnson for his role in Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry’s “reality” show. Alexander also quite rightly scolded her fellow councilmembers who appear on the show, saying their hackneyed acting demeans their roles as elected officials. It also looks like the pilot episode has been pulled from public viewing on YouTube. Too bad.
AFTER THE JUMP: Post Beats the Post on Team Thomas Coverage, Again; Speaking of Nickles; Seeing Green…
Ah-Ha!: The Washington Post‘s editorial page does some more original reporting on Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.‘s youth sports non-profit that’s currently under investigation by Not-for-long Attorney General Peter Nickles. The latest news: one of the development companies that donated to Thomas’ non-profit had business before the council, and received a $1 million sales tax exemption from the city. Thomas also introduced emergency legislation “that would make $625,000 available to the firm to fill a gap in its financing.” Thomas hasn’t disclosed any conflict of interests with any business since taking office, and his attorney Fred Cooke Jr., says Thomas doesn’t have to disclose donations to his nonprofit because he did “not personally benefit” from them. LL is not sure how having business interests pay for part of the cost of his trips to Florida and Las Vegas to talk about sports equipment doesn’t personally benefit Thomas in any way, but hey, LL never went to law school. The Post also reports that Gray said he won’t interfere with the investigation as it proceeds. LL also finds it odd that the editorial page continues to lead the way on this story. Sure, Thomas fans will point to that fact as proof that the editorial page is carrying out some politically motivated vendetta, but it’s really a case of the Post‘s Metro section getting outplayed by its own paper, again.
Speaking of Nickles: LL first reported that Nickles is on the march to take six group homes for the severely developmentally disabled away from beloved group home leader David Wilmot. (For a primer with all that’s wrong with Wilmot, Cooke and A. Scott Bolden being in charge of these group homes, please see this old LL column.) The Post‘s Mike DeBonis says Nickles “appears to be on a mission to hand Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray as many potentially embarrassing political decisions as possible.” Thomas is super tight with Gray, Wilmot is one of the city’s biggest power brokers, and Don Peebles, who Nickles sued last month over allegedly overbilling the city for rent, is also super connected and friendly with Gray. The next mayor and his future attorney general will have tread carefully in each case. “Pursuing each would stand to annoy and embarrass Gray’s political allies. Not pursuing them would embarrass Gray himself,” writes DeBonis.
Seeing Green: The Times reports that a new congressional report raises questions about Gray transition chairwoman Lorraine Green‘s role “in connection with the controversial dismissal of a longtime former Amtrak inspector general.” Last year Republicans were upset that Green was tapped by Amtrak to be the interim IG for a few months after the old IG was kicked to the curb. Conservative bomb thrower Michelle Malkin took aim at Green last summer, calling her a “lapdog” instead of a true watchdog. The new report says Green delayed a IG report critical of the H.R. department that she controls and delayed a salary increase to an investigator who was involved in that report. Green didn’t respond to the Times. More unfavorable news for Green comes via D.C. Watch, in which a one-time exception was made for a Gray supporter to air complaints about Green’s leadership of the transition. “We, the fearless, tireless volunteers of Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8 were looking to be included; instead, we have been excluded” the letter reads, also saying that some Gray volunteers have been “egregiously mistreated” by Green and are “extremely fearful of reprisal by this very unscrupulous and vindictive woman.” Yikes, those are not nice things being said.
Ok, I’ll Talk, Sorta: Ward 1 CM Jim Graham‘s former chief of staff, Ted Loza, had a lengthy chat with FBI agents about alleged public corruption involving the D.C. taxicab industry before he was arrested. His attorney is trying to get whatever Loza said during that chat ruled inadmissible at Loza’s upcoming trial because Loza wasn’t read his rights.
Failure Is An Option: Why is Pepco so bad at keeping the lights on? Don’t blame the trees, blame the Public Service Commission, says Ward 3 CM Mary Cheh. “The PSC must establish clear and rigorous performance metrics for reliability and enforce them with penalties to be paid from Pepco’s profits, not by ratepayers.”
Allen Lew just might get a big head from all the love being heaped on him by Examiner columnists.
Will Graham continue to be the face of Metro, and will CM Michael Brown be able to continue skipping Metro board meetings? Kytja Weir says maybe, maybe not. Graham says he wants Almost Council Chairman Kwame Brown to reappoint him to the board: “I think there’s a great advantage to seniority and experience, but it’s not my decision to make.”
Gray wants more cooperation between charter schools and traditional schools. It feels like a long time ago when Gray announced his education platform during the primary at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Ward 8. The schools’ co-founder and executive director, Josh Kern, may be headed to work in his administration, reports the Post.
Just how bad were things at Dunbar? Here’s one former teacher’s view.
Examiner tough guy Scott McCabe gets some love from the Gray Lady for catching crooks.
Gray has to talk about the pace of his transition on a Sunday morning.
Fenty: Modernization plans at Cardozo High School, 10:45
Gray: job summit started this morning with biz and labor leaders.
Council: Human Services hearing, 1 p.m.