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Two Graham Staffers Receive Grand Jury Subpoenas

Two staffers for D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) have been subpoenaed to appear next week before a federal grand jury investigating the city's taxicab industry.

David Vacca and Steve Hernandez, both of whom work for the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, are scheduled to appear before the grand jury Oct. 8. Hernandez, the committee clerk, and Vacca, a legislative analyst, have been ask to be prepared to talk about taxicab legislation.

Graham is chairman of the committee. Graham's chief of staff, Ted G. Loza, was arrested Thursday for allegedly accepting $1,500 in bribes to try to influence legislation that would have favored the taxicab industry.

Neither Vacca nor Hernandez nor Graham have been charged with wrongdoing. And when the FBI raided Graham's office last week, agents focused exclusively on Loza's workspace.

But the D.C. Republican Committee sent Graham a letter Tuesday asking that he take a leave of absence until the FBI concludes its investigation.

"All citizens are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but District residents deserve a DC Council free of the appearance of corruption," said Robert J. Kabel, chairman of the DC Republican Committee.

Brian DeBose, a Graham spokesman, said there is no reason for Graham to step aside because he does not appear to be a target of the investigation.

"There is no indication that the council member is in any way connected to the investigation, outside of the arrest of Mr. Loza," DeBose said.

-- Tim Craig

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 29, 2009; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , D.C. Democrats & Republicans , D.C. Taxis , Tim Craig  | Tags: Brian DeBose, Committee on Public Works and Transportation, David Vacca, Jim Graham, Steve Hernandez  
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It is dumb to keep quoting the Republican party for a differing view on this scandal. There is no support for a Republican in Ward 1.

A reporter ought to be able to find a critic of Graham in Ward 1, and they'll surely be a Democrat.

Posted by: emrj | September 29, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Jim Graham should resign. He has exhibited terrible judgement in the hiring of Mr. Loza. It is obvious that Mr. Graham allowed a "personal" relationship with Mr. Loza cloud his judgement-- how many Council members buy a condo for a staffer? HELLO!!!!!!

Posted by: dcpsychic | September 29, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I am beginning to feel like a junkie around this. I keep checking back to see if they have grabbed Graham yet. Its like the Jim Graham "arrest watch". I bet they take him in the middle of the night to an undisclosed location.

It would be satisfying to see the perp walk from the Wilson Building though. I can envision his staff dancing with Marion while Gray and Kwame and Bowser and Thomas and Wells and Brown, looking all glum and important, talk on cell phones with various criminal attornies. Through the windows in the background can be caught a glimpse of Alexander, Mendelson and Cheh sitting at their desks quietly working and Jack Evans frantically jamming all manner of things into into a woodchipper a la "Fargo". David Catania stands to the side talking animatedly and hysterically to himself violently jammimg his pointing finger into his ear.

Ah fantasy, thy name is DC government!

Those staffers are sure to quack to a federal grand jury. Glad to see the wool is still attached over Debose's eyes.

Posted by: SoCali | September 29, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Graham is right, if the FBI is targeting him, they need to bring charges ASAP so that he can be relieved from being actively involved in legislative and fiscal affairs of the District unless and until he has been cleared.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 29, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if Marion "Crook for Life" can get away with smoking crack with a hooker, then I am sure that Graham will survive this. Barry has swindled his way out of paying taxes and other crimes-- yet he is there. I think some people just don't like a gay white councilmember.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | September 29, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Is there any doubt? Jim Graham is a crook and belongs in prison!

Posted by: ashafer_usa | September 29, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

to view a partial list of crimes committed by FBI agents over 1500 pages long see

to view a partial list of FBI agents arrested for pedophilia see

Posted by: mabumford | September 29, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I now know why when you have a complaint against a cabbie, the taxi commission does nothing and when you complain to Mr Vacca, he does nothing.....I THINK WE KNOW WHY NOW!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: | September 29, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I worked with Jim for 10 years, as his director of Latino Services (Office created by Jim). Jim always look very closely into the finances at Whitman Walker Clinic reason why WWC was considered amongst the best in excellence during his time. Jim did enormous contributions to people living with AIDS and those who died from AIDS. - Is a good man with a good heart, like to help people, such as helping Ted- his wife and children to secured a safe place (this is what we Latinos call a good boss who cares for his staff and cares for our community). Yes it is sad about Ted; Ted is very active in the Latino community and very efficient and fast. Ted mistake is a sad event for us and a great lost for the Latino community in DC, since we all Latinos have great expectations and hopes about him.- We will start nurturing another Latino for the city council- it might take another nine years, but as a young community time is in our favor.

Frank Yurrita
Es-Director Latino Service
Ex-Associate Executive Director Health and Wellness
Whitman Walker Clinic

Posted by: FrankRicardo | September 29, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The FBI is probably looking to have Loza give Graham up. So they should take as much time as necessary. Whatever good he may have done pales next to selling influence.

Posted by: gbooksdc | September 29, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

What color bow-tie goes with an orange jumpsuit?

Posted by: frankwinstead | September 29, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think D.C. Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham is a snake and a liar like most politicians. I have a feeling, Jim Graham had some knowledge of Ted Loza's actions. On the issue of the D.C. Republican Committee, they are trying to turn this into a political issue to their advantage. The GOP Party should realize, they don't stand a chance in the liberal ultra left wing mostly Democratic Republic of the District of Columbia. Both the Democratic and Republican parties aren't worth do do.

Jim Graham only represents Salvadorans/Central Americans/Ethiopeans mostly in Ward 1. Jim could care less about U.S. black citizens in his Ward. Jim Graham and Ted Loza supports illegal immigration and amnesty/citizenship to illegal aliens. Miss Graham is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Canada. Ted Loza is from Ecuador and he is a non citizen, not an illegal alien. My question, what is Ted Loza's educational background and experience to be working in a $93,000 yearly position? To Frank Ricardo, I will never vote for a Salvadoran/Central American. I will vote for a qualified Puerto Rican who shared my views on issues important to me. Any politiican who supports illegal immigration will never get a vote from me.

Posted by: Ward4DC | September 30, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

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