Ted Loza in April of this year

In this week’s column, LL, with the assistance of Jason Cherkis, examines Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham‘s close personal and political ties to Ted Loza—-his top aide accused of taking $1,500 in bribes.

Loza occupied a privileged post in an office known for high turnover and heavyhanded management, organizing and accompanying Graham on overseas trips. Graham on Thursday, after Loza’s arrest, called him “someone I have grown to trust and have confidence in.”

But was that trust misplaced?

In addition to a 1999 assault charge Graham says he was unaware of, and a 2008 incident at a U Street bar, LL has unearthed more details casting doubt on Loza’s fitness for a position of trust.

Beginning in 2005, Loza had been involved in a relationship with a young Salvadoran woman that ended in a sordid paternity and custody battle that includes allegation of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse on Loza’s part. A judge found that on at least two occasions Loza had battered the woman who he twice pressured to have abortions.

The second time, she refused. The first time, he had the abortion. Graham paid $3,200 for it, with his personal credit card.

Loza paid him back, and Graham says he was unaware of the abuse allegations.

Loza’s child support obligations also go some way toward explaining why he told his alleged briber: “You know I need it. That’s why I take it, you know.”

The column also contains Loza’s first public comments since his arrest. Read it.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery