Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 3:52 PM ET, 02/22/2011

More highlights from the 'Kwamemobile' e-mails

By Mike DeBonis

A lot of good details made it into my Sunday story on D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown's Lincoln Navigators. A few did not. Here are some various tidbits from government e-mails (which you can read in full) that didn't make the cut:

-- The first mention of "Fully Loaded Required" is in a request for quotes distributed by the Department of Public Works in November. The specifications, an accompanying e-mail reads, are "for the Chairman's request."

-- DPW Director William Howland e-mailed Brown directly on Dec. 20 to schedule the exchange of the Chevy Tahoe he had initially been given for the first Navigator. After the car is delivered late the next day, Howland e-mails outgoing City Administrator Neil Albert to let him know Brown has his car.

-- On Dec. 22, incoming Council Secretary Nyasha Smith writes the e-mail laying out the necessity of a black-on-black interior, GPS, moon roof, aluminum wheels and rear entertainment system -- which she refers to having been requested in October. That night, Howland provides a personal update to incoming City Administrator Allen Lew, then updates him again the next morning, after Howland speaks to Brown.

-- On Dec. 23, while there's controversy about the interior color of Brown's car, a DPW procurement official checks with Howland to check that the color of the Town Car intended for Mayor Vincent Gray's security detail is also black. Howland responds: "I guess so. Vincent said 'I have been "Gray" all his life so I don't mind gray'."

-- Later than week, Howland directly informs Smith, Lew and Albert that the second Navigator is being driven from Michigan. Various DPW officials track its progress across the country while working to get license plates for the car. Howland personally contacts Department of Motor Vehicles Director Lucinda Babers about the tags -- meaning two cabinet members plus two city administrators are now involved in procuring Brown's vehicle. The original paperwork necessary to issue a license doesn't arrive in time for the inauguration, but DMV agrees to accept a copy until the original comes and issues the plates anyway.

-- The morning after the second Navigator is delivered, DPW officials are clearly incredulous that it has tan seats, given the hullabaloo over the interior of the first one. One official writes: "Has anybody asked if that 2011 model Navigator even comes with a black interior?"

-- On New Year's Day, two days after the car is delivered, Smith e-mails Howland to thank him for his "personal involvement in making sure that Chair-Elect Brown received a vehicle in time for his swearing in." She had one more request, however: "I noticed there are tvs in the headrests and since we didn't request that, is there a way to send those back? Please advise."

By Mike DeBonis  | February 22, 2011; 3:52 PM ET
Categories:  Kwame Brown, The District  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: D.C. Council member asks for data on city vehicles
Next: Kwame Brown returns Navigator, apologizes for 'disruption'

Comments

I would like to point out that Mike Debonis got all this information from a FOIA request. In the Fenty days, he would still be waiting for his records, if he ever got them at all.

Posted by: tacard1 | February 22, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Um...this is so disheartening. As a new DC resident I am quite perturbed by this unethical behavior. From luxury cars to luxury boxed tickets at the Verizon Center. Why can't we get rid of the cars and scalp the tickets to close the budget gap? Better yet, if we get rid of the City Council (I.e., elected officials) we'd save all kinds of money.

Posted by: Miles99 | February 22, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

There is one work to describle this whole thing. Disgusting. The chairman is SO important that the District HAS to give him, not just a Lincoln Navigator, but a streached Navigator with all the options. And order it from Kanas no less. All the while the District budget is in the red. You know they overthrew the government in Tunisa, I wonder if we can overthrow the District government.

Well I guess that last statement will get me investigated by the DC council. So if you don't hear from me...

Posted by: Jimof1913 | February 22, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I would like to point out that Mike Debonis got all this information from a FOIA request. In the Fenty days, he would still be waiting for his records, if he ever got them at all.

Posted by: tacard1 | February 22, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

What an absurd statement. Are you suggesting that quick response on a FOIA request, which I sincerely doubt is correct anyway, is somehow WORTH the cost of providing not one but TWO luxury SUVs at twice the normal cost to this spendthrift public blowhard with an unbelievably inflated sense of his own self-worth??? Seriously?

Posted by: Orsalia | February 23, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Tacard1 wrote:

"I would like to point out that Mike Debonis got all this information from a FOIA request. In the Fenty days, he would still be waiting for his records, if he ever got them at all."

What an absurd statement... like FOIA compliance is optional! Are you seriously suggesting that "quick" response on a FOIA request is somehow WORTH the cost of providing not one but TWO luxury SUVs, at twice the normal cost, to this spendthrift public blowhard with an unbelievably inflated sense of his own self-worth??? SERIOUSLY?

Posted by: Orsalia | February 23, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I just read through the emails. Wow! What a waste of time and money. And at one point, someone does say that there is not a model with a black on black interior. . .

Posted by: IndolentCin | February 23, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company