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Posted at 10:03 AM ET, 02/28/2011

Kwame Brown's SUV was illegal, Wells says

By Tim Craig
Tim Craig

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown "inappropriately requested" that District officials violate the law by providing him a leased Lincoln Navigator SUV that cost taxpayers $2,000 a month, according to a report issued this morning by D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6).

Wells, the chairman of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, notes in the report that District law prohibits the leasing or buying of city vehicles that get less than 22 miles per gallon.

"The preliminary finding highlights many troubling signs and warrant an oversight hearing to specifically review in greater detail the decision-making process for official vehicle procurement and stewardship of public funds," the report concludes.

Last week, the Washington Post reported that city officials were asked to lease a "fully loaded" Lincoln Navigator L for Brown (D). The ensuing uproar led Brown to say he is returning the luxury sport-utility vehicle, although it is unclear whether the city can cancel its lease early.

The report notes that the council chairman is permitted under District regulations to have an "official vehicle to travel between his residence and work place and for the use in the course of is daily work." But the leasing of an SUV violates the Oct. 1, 2004, ban on the city procuring gas guzzling SUV's.

"We need to have compliance with D.C. law," Wells said in an interview. "We need to be sure we are not wasting money. There is no reason I know of to have vehicles that either do not meet the EPA (miles per gallon) standards or why we need to be purchasing SUVs that are more expensive than a compact or mid-sized sedan."

Brown, however, isn't the only city official who has violated the ban. According to the report, which Wells stressed is preliminary, the District has 42 SUVs not related to security or emergency response capabilities. Of those, 10 were purchased after Oct. 1, 2004.

The report also concludes that some city officials appear to be violating the District law banning the use of chauffeurs for any city employee except the mayor.

"A preliminary review of information shared by employees at several agencies shows that some agency and department directors are provided not only with vehicles for their use during the day, but agency staff serve as dedicated drivers of the vehicles," the report concludes, without naming Brown or anyone specifically.

Report on Preliminary Findings, 2011-02-28, FINAL

By Tim Craig  | February 28, 2011; 10:03 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election, D.C. Council, Kwame Brown, vincent gray  
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Next: Fenty friend Skinner takes aim at D.C. Council, Graham

Comments

When an agency head doesn't follow or enforce the rules, they shouldn't be agency head. DPW director Bill Howland must go.

Posted by: blankspace | February 28, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Egos know no laws. The man wanted his pimp mobile. A Ford Escort will get you around D.C.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 28, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that $2000 a month for a vehicle lease is even close to an appropriate amount for a public official. Brown exercised poor, if not negligent, judgement in choosing to lease the Navigator.

Of course I doubt this will prevent his constituents from re-electing him in the future.

Posted by: Fitz157 | February 28, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

There seems to be an inappropriate and broad sense of entitlement among many employed in public service. Whether real or perceived, it is this type of abuse that is fueling the dispute in Wisconsin and other states. Public servants need to remember the "servant" part of that description.

Posted by: johne37179 | February 28, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Fire the "Pimp -My -Ride" councilmen...ALL of them!

Posted by: 10bestfan | February 28, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Good thing he got rid of it.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 28, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Q: Who put da ghetto back in da John A Wilson Building?
A: Voters.

Posted by: Perseus | February 28, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Wow, this story gets better and better...I thought D.C. was broke. The word public servant has become a joke in D.C., P.G. and Montgomery County. Sounds like Brown was following Ike Leggett's high style, "look at me" fancy SUV and private washroom antics...

Posted by: Annabelle3 | February 28, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

One simple step to rein in these sorts of abuses is to make any official personally financially responsible for any lease or other expense that is in violation of any ordinance. I'm fairly sure that an official would become quite familiar with the relevant rules before making such a decision if there were the possibility that he or she could end up paying out of pocket for any such misfeasance.

Posted by: stickler1 | February 28, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Let's also note that Washington City Paper had this story last week. Yep, our fine friends downtown "broke" the law. Kudos to WCP and the WaPo for alerting us to their not only shifty and suspect but also criminal behavior.

Posted by: mac4700 | February 28, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse


Kwame Brown should simply resign because of his corruption and because his parents gave him such a stupid first name.

Posted by: kenk33 | February 28, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Busted!

Posted by: johng1 | February 28, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

And you wonder why DC doesn't have statehood.

Posted by: MissV | February 28, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

resign

Posted by: slick3 | February 28, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

And you wonder why DC doesn't have statehood.

Posted by: MissV | February 28, 2011 11:12 AM |

------------

Oh, is that so MissV? Or could it be that the US Constitution defines the District so? These tired old redneck responses are of no value and are not funny.

Posted by: johng1 | February 28, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Leave that bruh alone already! He's just letting people know that he has finally arrived. He is now the H*IC. He has to look fly in his Stacey Adams Gater shoes, Cab Calloway inspired zoot-suit, top hat with a feather, and whip (nice flashy car). How can you ungrateful people expect him to ride in anything but a $2000 a month stretch Lincoln Navigator with 20 inch chrome rims.

Posted by: jab00 | February 28, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The District is a compact place. All officials who get a company car should set an example and drive/ride Chevy Volts.

Posted by: ajlerner1 | February 28, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

johne37179, I think you're a bit off there. Most of us in the public sector don't think we are entitled to free vehicles, etc. That's the sort of thing you find with the highest levels of management and your elected public officials- not the career worker down in the trenches.

This isn't the same sort of thing as what's fueling the dispute in Wisonsin and other states. This instead is like Congress or your local legislature deciding they get free cars and chauffeurs.

Posted by: barbaramusser | February 28, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

There needs to be a clean government campaign in DC. Now.

Posted by: Aerowaz | February 28, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Why can't all council people, including the major, ride the metro? Cheaper; a chance to mingle and meet the people and get a daily dose of metro's inefficiencies.

Posted by: daughterofold | February 28, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't this law make Gray's Navigator illegal also?

Posted by: overtaxedindc | February 28, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

From commentor on Washington City Paper:

"D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has allowed a friend to chauffeur him in a city-owned Lincoln Navigator, in apparent violation of laws that permit only city employees and officials to drive government vehicles."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/25/AR2009052502089.html

Wow did the story say Lincoln Navigator? So a public offical driving a Lincoln Navgator...not smart car isn't new.

Why couldn't this have been pointed out before? We need to hold everyone accountable who has participated in avoiding the 2002 law

Posted by: thelildiva4u | February 28, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Someone needs to get their personal checkbook out of their pocket and reimburse the city.

Posted by: blackforestcherry | February 28, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh, c'mon. Those laws are just for the little people.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 28, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

THOES THAT VIOLATED THE RULES MUST BE PULL FROM SERVICE OR FULLY PAY THE COST OUT OF THEIR OWN POCKET WITH THE EVENT IN THEIR RECORD.

Posted by: usapdx | February 28, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm unsurprised.

Posted by: eabgarnet | February 28, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't this law make Gray's Navigator illegal also?

Posted by: overtaxedindc | February 28, 2011 11:41 AM |
_________________________________

No, the Mayor's vehicle is procured by MPD and is, based on it's emergency aparatus, considered an 'emergeny vehicle' thereby, exempt.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 28, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Right now, I'm sure Kwame is looking for an opportunity to use the "***** set me up" defense that works so well in DC.

Posted by: marklandterrapins | February 28, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"We need to have compliance with D.C. law". Right. Like that is going to happen.

Posted by: neil64 | February 28, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Fenty had it right with that little Smart car...lol

Posted by: cbmuzik | February 28, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"I'm unsurpsied"

Same here. After hearing about Mr. Brown's poor financial situation during the election: boat mortgage, maxed out home mortgage, failure to pay credit cards, to the point where he was being sued by the credit card company. I was kind of expecting this.
This city government employee must now be watched like a hawk for corruption. Every meeting with a developer in a hotel restaurant should be exposed, all work done on his house should be scrutinized. This man will stop at nothing to gain the engraciations of a "play-a" or a drug dealer.

Posted by: buckfush | February 28, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Kwame said he would take full responsibility. Doesn't that mean he should reimburse the city for both leased vehicles? Heck, he makes, what, $190,000 a year? He can afford it. Or let the taxpayers USE the Navigators. Let Gray's overpaid staff shuttle some seniors around to the doctor's appointments and to the grocery store.

Posted by: susiebdc | February 28, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Brown is adding the the tumoil thats has DC crying broke but can and will procure a $2000 a month lease. brown should be forced to resign and pay the taxpayers back for the money on the lease and the money WE the TAXPAYER are going to loss for breaking the lease early

Posted by: JeroRobson1 | February 28, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The consequences of this illegal activity should have two distinct components; one directed at the individual who obtained the vehicle for his use and a separate aspect directed at the system's failure to prevent this individual from obtaining the vehicle. Individuals, especially those who rise to the top, tend to expect extraordinary privileges, and systems need to be in place to prevent those who expect unwarranted privileges from costing the government money. It's not just Brown, it's also the other gas-guzzlers that were unlawfully leased by the city. What happened to the oversight? If the public works management cannot deny the elite benefits that are unlawful, they should not be in management. If the mayor does not put appropriate management in place, he should not be mayor. Otherwise the city government is just a cookie jar.

Posted by: kabej | February 28, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Wait...why does he get an "official vehicle to travel between his residence and work place and for the use in the course of is daily work" anyways???

That alone is a waste of taxpayer money. I'm sure his bloated salary for doing a meager amount of real work would be able to pay for a car...or at least a SmarTrip Card.

Posted by: damnit79 | February 28, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

This is just an example of a person that went into politics for the wrong reason - personal gain. All of these politicians line their own pockets, some more obviously than others. If Brown is allowed to stay in office or be re-elected he will just find a smoother, slicker way to misuse taxpayer dollars because he is all about himself. DC voters were warned - being sued by 2 credit card companies, 700K in debt. How did you think he was going to manage your money?

Posted by: sickofit3 | February 28, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I deserve a Lincoln... I AM Kwame dammit!

Posted by: pejochum | February 28, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Washington should have had enough of Kwame Brown the alleged basketball player. Former Mayor of Detroit Kwame "Sexter" Kilpatrick. No more Kwame's

Posted by: evolvedthinker | February 28, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a set up to me. Some poor working schmuck in DPW is going to take the fall. The excuse will be that Mr Brown requested, but the employee should have know it was illegal.

Posted by: BEEPEE | February 28, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

HNICS are ALWAYS above the rules.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | February 28, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Who in their right mind likes to drive around is that ugly thing??? What's the attraction. It's not only ugly and yes expensive, looks like a truck. I could understand if this egomaniac had leased a Mercedes or a Rover, but that?

Posted by: jeanlucca | February 28, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Why are Blacks like me so ignorant of other peeps facilities and procure BS to hurt the taxpayers. I, Dr. Clifford Thomas,karate teacher in PG Bladensburg Rec Ctr, am ashamed that I, like Kwame Bee ruin the system and laugh all the way to the bank or a strip club with the funds.

Posted by: DrCliffThomas | February 28, 2011 10:42 AM

******************************************

You, sir, are a major deebag!

I'm guessing you're dyslexicand schizophrenic at the same time. Do society a favor, take some "prescribed" drugs and off yourself!

Posted by: TheChampisheretoo | February 28, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Illegal or not, who in their right mind leases a vehicle for $2,000 a month!??!! That's just ridiculous no matter how you look at it!

To say that no one is surprised by this corrupt mentality speaks volumes about DC officials. So HOW and WHY do they keep getting elected?! And HOW and WHY do they keep getting away with it!?

On the other hand, it could be worse.... he could be doing coke.

Posted by: aktotlykrzy | February 28, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

DC has a "No Official Guzzler Law" that I like.. Now if they can only get rid of the selfish lawmakers with fetishes.

Posted by: jercha | February 28, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Jeez... as if what you said here counts or your opinion matters. It's the DC voters who put these clowns in charge of their lives. Look at the DC history. They voted for a drug addict, corrupted people.

The rich in DC don't give a damn. They send their kids to private schools. They scream when their streets ain't plowed or trash does not get picked up. They pay taxes to the city hall but they don't care to vote.

Posted by: BabuiBoomerang | February 28, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

HNICS are ALWAYS above the rules.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | February 28, 2011 12:55 PM

******************************************

HHunk-ysICS are no different Teabagger!

Posted by: TheChampisheretoo | February 28, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Let Mr. Brown and all other public officials take Metro. If we peons can risk getting robbed and assaulted surely they can too. Let them see first hand what their constituency deals with on a daily basis.

Posted by: Nghbrhdwatch | February 28, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Some of these comments are just plain stupid.

Also, whenever elections are held positions/politicans change Wells should have all new/changed employees/officials read and sign off on all the rules. Then no one can say they didn't know, etc., etc.,

Whenever we get new employees - I don't care how long they have worked with the company - they have to sign everything, even rules that already apply. We make sure our department employees know we stick to the rules.

Posted by: rlj611 | February 28, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

There's going to be "lots" more of these illegal acts violating procedure in a Gray administration. What else did you expect??? This has been his MO through out his political affiliation...

Posted by: WhitneyDavid | February 28, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't care less about that trivial gas mileage rule. It is obviously a joke, since most government officials use Crown Victorias. Ever see one of those boats get 22 mpg? I think that whoever negotiated a 1900 per month rate for a lease of ANY VEHICLE needs to be fired. That is outrageous and I suspect a kickback is involved. As for you racists makiing comments about riding around in a pimp mobile, I drive past Capitol Hill everyday and see Streams of Black Suburbans shuttling Boehner and other top officials on the Hill back and forth at taxpayer expense. these decked out Suburbans cost about the same as the stretch Navigator, if not more. But then again, Speaker Boehner is a member of the privileged Orange race.

Posted by: PepperDr | February 28, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This report is further evidence of the poor job the D.C. Council has been doing in serving the public.

Where was the proper council oversight concerning this law during the Williams and Fenty administrations?? Why did it require the media exposing this problem before the council decided to even LOOK at the problem??

Posted by: Kathy8 | February 28, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"stewardship of public funds"

Please step down Mr Brown

Posted by: bschaper | February 28, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Just wait. The scandals are just beginning. Grey/Brown are as crooked as they come, and I just hear Marion Barry laughing down in Ward 8. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Posted by: pjglazer | February 28, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Taking responsibility means reimbursing the city for BOTH of the leases if they cannot be broken. We the taxpayers are STILL on the hook for two fully-loaded navigators.

Email them all:
kbrown@dccouncil.us

dccouncilmembers@dccouncil.us

mayor@dc.gov

Call Kwame Brown at 202-724-8032

Posted by: trace1 | February 28, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Just to put it in perspective, Fenty chose to drive around in a tiny smart car. Everyone knew this would be a return to the days of Barry.

It seems Gray and company are more interested in fleecing the public for their own luxury vehicles than they are about abiding by their own laws... DC is a banana republic, minus the actual bananas.

Posted by: gotpaint32 | February 28, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

BUS-TED!

Posted by: laboo | February 28, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Kwame Brown is just ghetto trash. I lost respect for both he and Vincent Gray. I regret voting for these fools. Although, I am glad former King Fenty is gone, but I jumped out the pan into the fire by voting for these Kwame Kilpatrick and Jack Johnson personality fools.

Posted by: DaddyGraceFishSandwich | February 28, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Brown should be recalled by the voters. This is shameful behavior and embarrassing to all of us who think DC can do better.

Posted by: MHeffner1 | February 28, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

gotpaint32 said: "Just to put it in perspective, Fenty chose to drive around in a tiny smart car."

Just to put THAT in perspective, Fenty also used taxpayer moolah to pay his police motorcycle convoy to block off no-bikes roadways when he and his buds went bicycling during the workday to train for triathlons. And taxpayer moolah to pay for heating of a convenient public pool, ditto.

No shortage of ways to fleece the voters; but generally, the subtler ones are the more pernicious.

Posted by: laboo | February 28, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The DC voters are to blame for making the place a one-party city for decades. The public officials mock you by misusing your hard earned tax dollars because what'choo gonna do - vote republican? Suckers.

Posted by: johnfchick1 | February 28, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Kathy8.....cbmuzik and gotpaint32 one more time for you slow people!

"D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has allowed a friend to chauffeur him in a city-owned Lincoln Navigator, in apparent violation of laws that permit only city employees and officials to drive government vehicles."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/25/AR2009052502089.html

Wow did the story say Lincoln Navigator? So a public offical driving a Lincoln Navgator...not smart car isn't new.

Why couldn't this have been pointed out before? We need to hold everyone accountable who has participated in avoiding the 2002 law


Posted by: thelildiva4u | February 28, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

A special counsel or prosecutor should be assigned to investigate the conduct of Chairman Brown's Navigatorgate episode. The City Council in which a majority of the members endorsed him in the primary, cannot investigate ethical/law violations by Chairman Brown. Maybe the Ethics Committee on Capitol Hill can assist you in this blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars by an elected official.

Posted by: dcgovcorruption1 | February 28, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

$2,000 a month to lease an SUV? $2,000 a month???

Sheeeeeeet, that whip better have the dopest rims, a mini-fridge stocked with Cris and Dom-P, windows tinted black as coal, and an Alpine sound system dropping out the phat beats.

If you're going to abuse taxpayer money, at least get your money's worth. If Brown wasn't rolling on dub-deuces, he got ripped off. Word.

Posted by: Swat02 | February 28, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

the democrat party is illegal, tell us something we don't know..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 28, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else see the irony in government officials who are supposed to be in charge of the public's good blatently wasting tax dollars on obscenely expensive cars?
Like one couldn't manage the city's finances if he rode the Metro to work or something?
Another example of how the best and brightest are never part of government by choice.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | February 28, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS CRAZY...I AM BLACK AND I DID NOT VOTE FOR ANYTHING OF THEM. BEEN IN DC ALL OF MY LIFE AND THEY ARE STILL ROBBING ME AND MY FAMILY. A $2000 CAR WHEN FOLKS ARE STRUGGLING TO PAY THEIR TAXES...HAD TO GO TO THE DMV THIS SATURDAY AND THEY STILL HAVE THOSE FOOLS IN THERE FROM BARRY...JUST NASTY FOR NO REASON...CLEAN HOUSE...DC IS A PLACE OF DIVERSITY...IT SHOULD NOT BE ALL FOLKS OF ONE COLOR IN ANY WORKPLACE...

Posted by: shadon1 | February 28, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

What if we stop giving automatic perks to elected officials? How much money did Brown make during his 'career'? Can't he afford his own transportation? Means testing is the way to go - can't afford a car, fine, taxpayers will hook you up but if you have or can afford your own vehicle, drive it. Maybe it will stop those who view an elected position as a gravy train from running for office in the first place.

Let Brown claim a tax deduction for business miles like the rest of us or let him get reimbursed for legitimate miles on his own car.

Posted by: TeeMick | February 28, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

So when is he and his assisant who sent that official request gonna get fired? And when will the official who processed the request be fired? Where is the accountability? Who is running the asylum?

Posted by: espnfan | February 28, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

In DC, you cannot go around looking for what actions are illegal. You're making too much work for yourself that way. Start by looking at what IS legal and then assume that everything else is crooked.

Posted by: forgetthis | February 28, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

And you wonder why DC doesn't have statehood.

Posted by: MissV | February 28, 2011 11:12 AM

So by your holier than thou definition, Illinois should no longer be a state? NY should no longer be a state? If you don't know, these places had public officials who were into way worse business than an expensive lease.
Or are you talking about the finances? If so, then by your definition Wisconsin should no longer be a state. And neither should Michigan, California, the list goes on.
Glass houses. You all live in them.

Posted by: nmoses | February 28, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Kwame, Kwame, he be a swami,

He say, "I be gettin' what I can fah me!"

Posted by: jismquiff | February 28, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"So by your holier than thou definition, Illinois should no longer be a state? NY should no longer be a state? ... If so, then by your definition Wisconsin should no longer be a state. And neither should Michigan, California, the list goes on."

- - - -

Yes, actually, I'd be more than happy to see Illinois, New York, Michigan, California, and Wisconsin stripped of their statehood, their representation in Congress, and their electoral votes.

Posted by: Swat02 | February 28, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The city should buy a fleet of Ford Escorts. Council members can drive those, and pay for their gas.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 28, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Back to the excesses of "The Mayor" and his cronies. Gray is a conniving, crooked politician and so are his henchmen and women. They are going to rip the voters of D.C. a new one.

Looks like Marion Barry is again in power...

Posted by: MoonDoggie | February 28, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Ford advertised a 2011 Navigator this weekend for a $529/mo lease payment. So, what dealership was soaking the District for a $1,900/mo. lease payment? Follow the money.

Posted by: eed017 | February 28, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

People are homeless and hungry in DC while the District has 42 SUV's? How much need is there to carry a driver and 4-5 other passengers for one trip? Take all of them to the auto auction and replace them with escorts-or better yet-SmartCars. Think how much money would be saved? If Mr. Brown wants a luxury SUV, let HIM pay for it!

Posted by: FormerVirginian | February 28, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I pay for my car from my salary, why can't the City Councilman?

Entitlement mentality personified.

Posted by: Ddad99 | February 28, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

DC councilmen? Big deal. They are nobodies and shouldn't have government funded cars or car leases. Let them take the metro like everyone else. It's absolutely ridiculous that they get these perks. Thank god I don't live in the banana republic of DC

Posted by: mmreay | February 28, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I like ice cream.

Posted by: nudar | February 28, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I thought we put all this behind us when we traded him to the Lakers...

Posted by: franklinmjohnson | February 28, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, Mr Brown "inappropriately requested" that District officials violate the law? And the officals willfully violate the law?

Can the District government embaress itself any more?

Posted by: Jimof1913 | February 28, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind if he would have grabbed a rebound now and then when he was with the Wizards.

Posted by: Cossackathon | February 28, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't see the need for the chair of council to have a city owned vehicle....and certainly NOT to go to and from work. Use your own personal vehicle for that.

Can we, the taxpayers in DC, bend over any further?

Posted by: UrbanDweller | February 28, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

If the taxpayers are paying for this vehicle and any other vehicle that are in use. Shouldn't we the taxpayers be the ones that get to pick what type of vehicle they should drive?? My pick would be a smart car. set an example.

Posted by: mgajardo0179 | February 28, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Many Maryland and Virginia residents have made negative comments regarding this scandal on WTOP's website. The last time I looked, there were corrupt politicians in those States. This isn't to excuse that Kwame Brown is a corrupted fool wanting to live large like the Rappers on MTV.

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2279041

Posted by: DaddyGraceFishSandwich | February 28, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Why can't all council people, including the major, ride the metro? Cheaper; a chance to mingle and meet the people and get a daily dose of metro's inefficiencies.

Posted by: daughterofold
*********************
LOL - mingle? meet the people? That exactly WHY they don't ride the Metro.

Posted by: overed | February 28, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

If Brown wants a "fully loaded SUV" and it's against D.C. law, to me it's alright to have one as long as HE PAYS for it out of HIS OWN POCKET!!!

In fact, if the lease can't be broken Brown should be stuck PAYING FOR IT ANYWAY.

Posted by: doughboy96 | February 28, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The report says nothing about how the leases were entered into. Were they put out as a competitive bid? Are all leases with one company? Were the companies contributors to any campaign? An earlier posting made a $1,400 difference in lease amounts. Could kickbacks be a problem?

Posted by: doughboy96 | February 28, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

You voted for him. You got him.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | February 28, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

This has to b one of the most riduculous stories that I have heard. It ranks only slightly below the $800,000/ yr. city manager in CA.
Mr. Brown's sense of arrogance and entitlement is sickening. In addition, he is blind and deaf to the problems of DC.
I was a partner in a medical group in 2003 that had low 8 figure revenue. We only had 6 partners. The group leased cars for the partners. One partner wanted a Ferrari as his leased car. It was $1,700/month. We rejected it and placed a $1100/month cap on this perk as anything more extravagant would send the wrong message to our associates and referral base.
We were not using taxpayer funds,but our own money. Shame on Mr. Brown.

Posted by: RoyHag | February 28, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

It is time to return most of the District to Maryland, just like Virginia got back Arlington long time ago. The federal government will save a lot of money from the many programs it supports for DC. That will solve the "representation" issue and the usual DC corrupt politics. Let Prince Georges county keep the NE side and Montgomery the NW, and make a real Federal City of the federal government offices, museums and tourist areas. The District government is a joke. Fenty was a ray of hope, but Gray is DC old politics. I could never live in the District. DC people: shape up and elect officials of national caliber and impeccable reputation, education and.... good credit history.

Posted by: g70s | February 28, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Swagger SUV son!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql-N3F1FhW4

Posted by: WhatBubble | February 28, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Please don't blame Bill Howland for this fiasco. As a department head, he is not in charge of restraining the excesses of the Council. No one seems to have asked why the Council did not procure the Chairman's car itself. Mr. Wells' conclusions, which are not those of any lawyer versed in DC procurement law, are hasty. Anyone familiar with DC government knows that the procurement laws (which have not been overhauled since 1976) need revision, but there is no political will to perform such a "nuts and bolts" task. Too bad.

Posted by: dcindy522 | February 28, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Tommy Wells grandstanding, yet again.

Isn't it funny that though this has been a regulation since 2004 it took a report from the Washington City Paper's Loose Lips quoting the law before lawmaker Tommy Wells, chairman of the committee, knew about the law. Then, he rights a report from the Committee, after the fact, quoting it. Worse, he didn't submit the report to committee members before releasing it.

Per a committee member:

“I think the [Wells] report was handled in an inappropriate process,” said Mr. Thomas, one of five committee members. “How can a report be released without committee input? This may be a violation of council rules.”

“We can’t get so distracted we don’t look at the whole agency,” he added. “Public works includes an extraordinary range of programs and policies. How are we investing the city’s money?”

Tommy Wells continues to be in it for himself and is attempting to position himself to overstep into personnel matters and make a power play on city leadership. Let's just hope the Gray administration can see this and slap Mr. Wells back down onto his "progressive" behind.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | March 1, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

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