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Posted at 5:28 PM ET, 02/22/2011

Kwame Brown returns Navigator, apologizes for 'disruption'

By Mike DeBonis

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown announced this afternoon that he is returning a Lincoln Navigator SUV to the city fleet, two days after the Washington Post reported that two such vehicles, with luxury options, were procured for him at a cost of nearly $2,000 a month apiece.

Brown's statement:

I apologize for the disruption this has caused, and I regret that I appeared insensitive to the financial challenges our city and residents face. As Chairman of the Council, it is my duty to make responsible fiscal decisions regarding the District's use of tax payer dollars. The fact that DPW procured the vehicle for nearly $2,000 a month is an unacceptable use of city funds.

I have made that clear to DPW Director, Bill Howland, and returned the vehicle to DPW today. DPW, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, will make a determination regarding the disposition of the lease. I intend to reimburse the city for my share of the use of the vehicle once the Attorney General renegotiates the lease agreement.

To be clear, I have returned the only vehicle of which I have had possession in my capacity as Chairman of the Council. The first Lincoln Navigator procured by DPW was returned to DPW, and it was my understanding that the vehicle would be returned to the leasing company at no cost to the District. I learned just this weekend that the vehicle was maintained as part of the District fleet.

I look forward to continuing to focus on education reform, getting our people back to work and getting the District's economy back on track.

By Mike DeBonis  | February 22, 2011; 5:28 PM ET
Categories:  Kwame Brown, The District  | Tags:  DC Council, Kwame Brown Navigator, Kwame Brown cars, Kwame Brown dc, Kwame Brown suv  
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Next: DeMorning DeBonis: Feb. 23, 2011


Interesting that the chairman in his apology does not take any responsibility for his action but seems to point the finger at DPW. DPW merely procured the vehicle according to his specifications and the reason he does not actually have the other vehcile that was procured for him is because the council secretary rejected the vehicle which resulted in DPW obtaining the second vehicle which DPW's director points out to the secretary is a luxury edition. If you are truly concerned why request a luxury edition? The more things change in DC politics the more they remain the same. Balance the budget by cutting social services and freezing employee pay raises and furloughs. Way to go DC

Posted by: annonymous2 | February 22, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious. He basically apologizes for getting caught and then blames the entire mess on DPW.

As many Fenty supporters predicted, Gray and Brown are nothing more than Marion Barry repeated. It took less than a month to return to the days of ordering expensive cars loaded with bling, hiring friends and relatives in massively overpaid positions and the firing of qualified employees only because they supported Fenty.

Here we go again DC. Marion Barry 2012 style!

Posted by: 8-Man2 | February 22, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Dr. DB, the two truck are still in the DC fleet...the leases are still being paid by the taxpayers because of your ego and sense of self-entitlement. You are indeed a baller...the ballee, however, happens to be the taxpayers of this city.

By the way, how's ole "tha b***ch set me up" Marion these days? Doing all right since he doesn't have to plow the streets?

Posted by: wjc1va | February 22, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Talk about passing the buck! Nothing about how or why he thought he was ever entitled to the luxury guzzlers. So is DPW going to pick up trash with the Lincolns? Well lets fire Howland then, seems like he's to blame, isn't that right Vince? He's at least guilty of over-salting the roads and polluting the Chesapeake.
What a bunch of sad losers. We need real government in DC. Some day we'll have it.

Posted by: blankspace | February 22, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse


The financial crisis of the city and the economic dispair of DC residents should have been your first thought, not last.

Perhaps no single person can be responsible for so many duties and responsibilities?

Remember, a lot of people in this city burned political capital to give you the opportunitiy of a life time. Don't screw it up.

The big question I have is who is advising you and who do you bounce these sort of decisions off of? Thought it was your Dad, or maybe its your Mom. Whomever it is get a whole new set of confidential advisors. It may save you political embarassment or worse.

Posted by: dcchamp1 | February 22, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Nice way to throw someone else under the bus and take absolutely no responsibility for your actions. Typical DC govt. behavior, however this is what the voters there apparently want and that is what they shall receive. Time and again.

Posted by: dcar1 | February 22, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

This guy doesn't get it. He required DPW to get him TWO stretch Navigators. He's taking responsibility for only the second one, because he drove only the second one, but he is also responsible for the first one that he required DPW to lease for him, then rejected because he didn't like the seat color.

If Kwame "No Account" Brown is the kind of leader that home rule produces, D.C. should give up on home rule.

Posted by: pundito | February 22, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh - it was HOWARD'S fault!

Is this fat loser related in anyway to Desiree' Rogers?

Posted by: SwellLevel5 | February 22, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Big surprise! Brown is a selfish, egocentric abuser of his own people.

Is he related to Marion Berry.

When will the people in D.C. learn there are alternatives to Democrats!

Posted by: numbersch13 | February 22, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Kwame Brown + Moammar Qaddafi + Hosni Mubarak = despots tone deaf to the needs of the people

Posted by: rpcv84 | February 22, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I guess we need to add liar and coward to the charges against this guy. You got caught, dont blame others or make excuses. You used your position to obtain a vehicle you wanted and you didnt care what it cost till you got caught. You should just admit what you did because Lord knows the constituents in DC wont care. Just kiss some babies, show up at a cookout and then all will be forgiven! Im just shocked he didnt play the race card....

Posted by: rc95959 | February 22, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jimb | February 22, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Bwaaaa, this keeps getting better! So he slams his boy at DPW, Howland, who is a notorious bum kisser.

The real story here is why is a city governmment director who works for the Mayor involved in procuring anything for his oversight, the DC Council? I guess it's obvious that if asked by Lew his boss then he had to or else, but it's never been done before that I know of. Nor has Council ever had special cars purchased by the city. What happened to seperation of church and state?

Council provides oversight to the agencies!

Posted by: _concernedaboutdc | February 22, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

The only thing he's sorry about is the fact he was caught. But, like Barry, the morons of this city will reelect him over and over again. I'll never understand the logic of democraps.

Posted by: IwanaGofishing | February 22, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

He should apologize not for being insensitive, but for being a liar. And he should resign.

Posted by: paul20002 | February 22, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

He should apologize not for being insensitive, but for being a liar. And he should resign.

Posted by: paul20002 | February 22, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

this is the manifestation of Kwame's lack of maturity which led to his personal debt situation.

the other part of his lack of maturity is apologizing and taking the car back. less than 45 days in and the guys opinion on vouchers has changed (I wonder how?) and now he's bowing to pressure again. Kwame has not impressed out the gate. how's he going to manage the budget debates?

Posted by: oknow1 | February 22, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I think that Mr. Brown should have kept the SUV and simply paid the difference from what the District would have paid for a normal SUV.

Posted by: Special_One40 | February 22, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The only reason he returned the truck and apologized was that he got caught. Why do these District officials need SUVs? Must be those mountains, deserts and snow swept plains.

Posted by: mortified469 | February 22, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

He returned the Navigator? He's lost my respect.

Posted by: jy151310 | February 22, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

If you were able to listen to WTOP's "Hands Across the Potomac" program earlier today, Mayor Gray was asked about it. He wasn't very forthcoming in his reponse.

Posted by: eabgarnet | February 22, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, DC Parking is out in force getting the cash to pay for Kwame's two pimpmobiles. How ironic -- they tow YOUR car so they pay for Kwame's. And if you think the Navigators are going back, instead of getting replaced when the heat dies down, well, I have a sweet deal on some land for you.

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 22, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

personally i did NOT vote for Kwame Brown! if he cannot manage his household finances he certainly cannot manage my tax dollars and city budget.(remember his yacht, credit card problems, and mortgage issues). He told us before the election that he was indulgent and undisciplined (he said he and his wife lived above their means). So all that to say...i am not surprised. Hopefully WE have learned our lesson!

Posted by: gadc1 | February 22, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

yeah, yeah, ok. another politician gets caught, apologizes and everything's ok. not sure what else to say about that.

I do have a question, though. Yesterday (I think it was yesterday) in the post, readers were given a chance to build a leased vehicle like this one and no one was able to come close to the $2000 this one cost. Is anyone looking at the leasing company to see why they think it's ok to basically double the cost of the lease here? still a valid question, since dpw is keeping one of these vehicles.

Posted by: jjtwo | February 22, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Taxpayers pay our mayor $200,000 per year.

Taxpayers pay our council chair $190,000 per year.

Why in the world do we need to provide them with transportation???

Making that kind of money, they should buy their own cars.

Posted by: mikecapitolhill | February 22, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

What a real class act this guy is!! The mayor should demand his resignation.

Posted by: maddogjts | February 22, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Way to go return the vehicles to the DPW. What about the monthly payments at a cost of almost $4,000.00. If you are the brightest the city has District residents better run. Keep on pimping the citzens.

Posted by: shardeman | February 22, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Way to go return the vehicles to the DPW. What about the monthly payments at a cost of almost $4,000.00. If you are the brightest the city has District residents better run. Keep on pimping the citzens.

Posted by: shardeman | February 22, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I want to know what idiot negotiated a $1900 per month LEASE for any vehicle? That is an outrageous payment. He could bought a Cadillac Escalade for less.

Posted by: PepperDr | February 22, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

So after being caught in multiple lies, exposed by the ink of his own offices emails, he now "takes responsibility" by throwing DPW under the bus.

Brown = Fail

Posted by: Nosh1 | February 22, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I thought that he was elected to be a rsponsible leader who makes intelligent decisions, and not someone who passes on blame and demonstrates an inability to intelligently lead the government of the people. I fear a return to cronyism and graft in DC government.

Posted by: moralcompass1 | February 22, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"I regret that I got caught... Damn that was a fine ride."

Posted by: JBinVA1 | February 22, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Was that an apology? I like how he acts like he's taking the DPW Director to task for the unacceptable $2000 lease. Now he wants to waste the DPW AND the Attorney General's time with his greedy little screw up. This guy is ridiculous. ZERO CREDIBILITY from now on.

Posted by: Chigliak | February 22, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Drop dead, quit, or jump off a bridge!

Posted by: mcbkrn | February 22, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

It is fantastic time to refinance home mortgage. As Clark Howard says it is very tough to find these low rates for long time. Search online for 123 Mortgage Refi they found me THE lowest possible rate.

Posted by: mariaking77 | February 23, 2011 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who orders up a fully-loaded luxury SUV, without inquiring as to the cost, and then shifts the blame is not qualified to oversee the city's budget.

Likewise, anyone who drives around one leased vehicle, rejects it, then orders another -- without inquiring as to the potential financial consequences of doing so -- is not qualified to oversee the city budget.

Kwame Brown is a man of exceptionally poor character. He should resign. Now.

Posted by: trace1 | February 23, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I just read Kwame Brown's so called "apology" for the SUV debacle. He's taken no responsibility. How can he possibly be charged with helping to manage D.C.'s budget? I'm in total agreement with a previous post...this administration is turning out to be a throw back to Marion Barry and his crew, and we're just 2 months in!!! As a long time D.C. resident, I at least have the satisfaction of saying that voted for NONE OF THE ABOVE. When are we going to wake up?

Posted by: Lizzie4 | February 23, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

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