City Paper is not for tourists
Morning all. Late last night, we published a piece on the latest mystery woman in Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry‘s life: Sharon Bowen. Bowen, who resides in Ohio, received $50,000 in contract work from the legendary politico to work on poverty issues in Ward 8. Bowen, our sources say, was also Barry’s girlfriend at the time (June 2007 to May 2008). For the piece, we detail her work and interview key players including Barry and Bowen’s daughter. Meanwhile, the Hill Rag’s The Nose examines Barry’s legislative record and finds it lacking in accomplishments. The upshot: many of Barry’s bills go nowhere and his priorities seem misplaced.
TREY JOYNER: The U.S. Park Police shooting of Trey Joyner on June 8 is getting a serious look by law enforcement authorities. On that Monday night, four park police cops in plainclothes moved in on Joyner as he was getting out of a car. When the officers tried to arrest him, allegedly a struggle ensued and he was gunned down. Witnesses at the time stated that Joyner was shot in the back and that the officers did not announce themselves. Now, WaPo is reporting that a federal grand jury is getting deep into the case and has subpoenaed an amateur video showing the chaos in Trinidad after the shooting. The WaPo scoop includes an interview with the filmmaker and has the man’s video. Fox-5 finds Eleanor Holmes Norton is still fuming over whether or not the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be leading the investigation into the shooting. If only all suspicious police shootings got this much attention.
HOMELESS FAMILIES: District officials plan to expand the number of beds for homeless families by 10 percent. But there’s a catch: the extra beds will only be available in the winter. WaPo reports that means 75 more beds (WUSA also has the story). Key graphs:
“Nassim Moshiree, a lawyer with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, said the officials who presented the plan seemed overconfident. ‘This past spring, 88 families were living at the family shelter at D.C. General Hospital when the capacity was 75,’ Moshiree said. ‘Some had to stay in the cafeteria. They say they’ll only need 75 beds there in the winter, when demand is high now. Where is their Plan B? They need a Plan B.’
Fred Swan, family services administrator for the Department of Human Services, said Moshiree voiced a common complaint. ‘To a certain extent, we hear that every year,’ Swan said. ‘We’ll make adjustments as needed.’
AFTER THE JUMP—-Cathy Lanier dismisses the controversy over the “police” report in Fenty’s car accident, Harry Jaffe continues to hammer away at the Pershing Park case, Fenty signs anti-crime bill, and much, much more.
NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT: D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier doesn’t get why the press—-and maybe a few readers—-are concerned over how the police handled Mayor Fenty’s fender bender. “I think there has been a lot of things made out of nothing here,” Lanier tells WJLA. Nothing? WaPo has more from Lanier on the accident. Key quote: “‘[Fenty] stayed on the scene. The [mayor’s] children that were on the scene, were taken from the scene, but he stayed on the scene while the other driver didn’t,’ Lanier said. ‘There are no procedures that were not followed. We thought that it was important to get the report taken and then file the supplemental report when we got the information. The important thing was to take the report, and it was taken, The photos were not taken because the other driver left the scene. The mayor stayed on the scene. He could have left because it was a minor fender-bender — if this was anybody else, they could have exchange information and left the scene.’
MORE TROUBLE FOR PETER NICKLES: The Examiner’s Bill Myers is reporting that there’s a big conflict brewing betweeen AG Nickles and City Auditor Deborah Nichols. Key graphs: “City Auditor Deborah Nichols says she wants a look at the last few years of books of the Anacostia Waterfront Commission and the National Capital Revitalization Corp. but that Nickles is invoking attorney-client privilege to prevent access to important records. ‘It’s quite clear that the [Attorney General’s Office] is inexplicably attempting to subvert the auditor’s authority,’ Nichols wrote in a July 2 letter obtained by The Examiner. Nichols called the attorney general’s conduct ‘unconscionable and unacceptable.'” Nickles says his actions were “appropriate.” Myers goes on to explain why Nichols is so interested: “According to a source familiar with Nichols’ audit, she also is asking questions about tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees the revitalization corporation paid to Michelle Fenty in 2006 as Mayor Adrian Fenty, then a D.C. councilman, campaigned for the mayor’s office. The mayor’s wife focuses her practice on global technology transactions and does not appear to have a background in community development.” Meanwhile, Harry Jaffe compares the problems in the Pershing Park case to Watergate.
CAFRITZ FIRE: Today, Mayor Fenty plans on announcing the preliminary findings in the city’s investigation into the hydrant problems surrounding the Peggy Cooper Cafritz house fire. WaPo reports that WASA has written a letters to City Administrator Neil O. Albert in an apparent attempt to push some of the blame on the Fire Department. Fenty is expected to hold a news conference today near the Cafritz home. WUSA reports that the Fire Department is already taking measures—-measures that were recommended in 2007—-to prevent such hydrant issues from happening again.
BUDGET TALK: Elissa Silverman and Liz Williams get all ProPublica on the District as they report out what happened to the city’s federal stimulus money in the Hill Rag. They find that without the fed’s help the District would be in total budget meltdown mode: “The stimulus is helping DC in two key ways. Plummeting tax revenues combined with increased demands for health care and other human services have created gaping holes in state and local government budgets everywhere. The District is no exception. About a quarter of DC’s budget gap this year and next will be plugged by various pots of money made available from the stimulus. Without that critical influx of dollars, the city would have had to make even deeper spending cuts that would have led to more job losses and slowed down our economic recovery.”
CRIME BILL: WaPo reports that Mayor Fenty signed the emergency crime bill (minus the tricky anti-gang initiative). Fenty and Lanier praised the bill’s new anti-loitering provisions, etc. Fenty still played the spoilsport: the bill’s author Councilmember Phil Mendelson did not attend the bill signing photo op. He was not invited. Wondering why? Mendo did not support the anti-gang initiative.
FENTY’S SCHEDULE: 9:00 a.m. Remarks Chain Bridge Fire Report Location: 3022 Chain Bridge Road, NW
10:00 a.m. Remarks Summer School Graduation Location: Washington Convention Center 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW Ballroom AB Level III
11:45 a.m. Remarks Potomac Avenue Triangle Park Groundbreaking Location: Intersection of Potomac Avenue, 13th, and I Streets, SE
1:30 p.m. Remarks Marvin Gaye Park Groundbreaking Location: Intersection of Division Avenue and Foote Street, NE