The Right-Hand Man Why has Jim Graham stuck with accused bribee Teddy Loza?

Ties That Blind: Did Graham overlook Loza’s red flags?
Darrow Montgomery/file

Last Thursday, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham stood in the corner of his office and spoke about his closest aide, arrested hours earlier for allegedly taking $1,500 in bribes to influence taxicab legislation. Only a thin wall separated Graham from a pack of federal agents, combing Ted Loza’s office for evidence of corruption in the taxi industry.

“I am deeply troubled at the indictment of Teddy Loza,” Graham said, calling him “someone I have grown to trust and have confidence in.”

That doesn’t even begin to cover it.

During his nine years in the council office, Loza forged a political and personal bond with his boss unique among Graham staffers past or present—one that plowed through all the barriers separating office life from personal life. Says one former staffer, “Some of us did call him ‘Siamese Twin,’ because it was like they were attached at the hip.” Another ex-staffer calls Loza and Graham “inseparable in the professional sense.”

Chumminess with the boss was a hard get in the confines of Graham’s office, which resembles something of a municipal factory floor. The Ward 1 councilmember wields a taskmaster’s approach to human resources, demanding long hours and absolute loyalty. Some ex-employees, many of them scattered around the District bureaucracy, have taken to calling themselves “SOJs”—survivors of Jim.

“If you are an employee, you are treated like a servant. There’s no such thing as comp time,” says one of the staffers. “Any time was Jim’s time. It didn’t matter. If you would be a few minutes late to the office, it’s like you committed a cardinal sin.”

But Loza was different.

He was hired by Graham in 2001, while Loza was in a low-level job in the city personnel office. According to one story Loza liked to tell, he wore a bow tie at the time—the better to catch the eye of two prominent bow-tie-wearers then in elected office: Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Graham, who had oversight over the personnel office at the time.

Loza eased into a staff spot, initially coming on part-time before settling into a full-time role as Graham’s liaison to the ward’s large Latino contingent. In that role, staffers and community members say, he was a relentless worker, a fixture in community meetings, and diligent in resolving neighborhood disputes. By 2006, he had moved up to chief of staff.

“With Ted, because of the relationship that Ted and Jim had, you felt like you were talking to the councilmember. I never felt like I had a moment where I was talking to Ted,” says Bryan Weaver, an Adams Morgan community activist who’s had his share of disagreements with Graham. “Any councilmember would want a chief of staff like that.”

In Loza’s hands, the chief of staff position encompassed a fair bit of junket planning for the councilmember. Ward 1 is easily the city’s most diverse, with large populations of Latinos, Africans, and African-Americans, among others—a melting pot that doubled as a great pretext for overseas trips during council breaks. First came a 2001 mission to El Salvador, shortly after an earthquake in the country that’s home to a hefty share of Ward 1’ers. Soon after, Loza would represent Graham on a humanitarian trip to Cuba. In 2004, Loza accompanied Graham on a journey to Ethiopia paid for by local Ethiopian business leaders. More trips to Central America and South America followed—most recently, a summer jaunt to Ecuador, Loza’s homeland.

The transcontinental travel changed Loza from a dutiful, deferential emissary to a Graham goon, a more arrogant, self-assured enforcer of the councilmember’s will, according to several sources. And Graham became more protective of Loza, defending him against criticism in neighborhood or office disputes.

“From the standpoint of a councilmember, maybe Ted had that true-believer feeling about Jim,” Weaver says. And “if Jim was calling to defend Ted, it did take on a sort of a fatherly feel a little bit. I think for each of them, they were their strongest defenders.”

That’s understating the relationship.

Graham, early on in Loza’s tenure, loaned him a small amount, $1,140, from his constituent services fund (a courtesy also extended to colleague Calvin Woodland Jr.—the only member of Graham’s staff who has served longer than Loza). Loza quickly paid the money back. And in 2002, Graham co-signed on a loan to help Loza and his companion Ligia X. Munoz buy a $202,000 condo in a Columbia Heights apartment building. And the bond went beyond financial assistance. Recently, Graham has shepherded Loza’s application for citizenship though the federal bureaucracy, making calls to officials on his behalf.

As the years ticked by, Graham and Loza continued to redefine their relationship, not always in the most savory ways. In December 2005, while on a holiday junket to El Salvador, Loza had sex with a 26-year-old woman there. After Loza returned to Washington, the woman learned she was pregnant and informed Loza, who, according to court documents, arranged for her to come to D.C. on a tourist visa.

After she arrived, Loza pressured the woman to abort the baby, according to court records. Part of Loza’s coercion, the woman would later testify, was physical. “On one occasion, after the parties had driven to get [the woman] a burrito, [she] reiterated that she did not want an abortion,” a judge wrote. “[Loza] became upset and pushed the defendant out of the car. She was not injured. The car door was open, she said.”

Loza’s behavior was troubling enough that the woman’s sister contacted his boss to help intervene. Graham’s reply to that entreaty: “Does thsi conduct involve his professional responsibilities o his behavior on personal issues? Bests Jim.”

The e-mail suggests that Graham had no interest in wading into this one. He didn’t succeed: By the end of the month, the woman had had the abortion, more than five months into the pregnancy.

Graham put the $3,200 late-term abortion onto his personal credit card, according to a receipt included in court records. Graham says, “This was a very difficult and personal time for Teddy,” adding that the money was paid back “promptly.” Loza says pretty much the same thing: “This is a chapter in my life that is painful and I would have no further comment.”

The abortion didn’t work wonders for Loza’s relationship with the woman. According to a document filed by the woman’s lawyer, “within two weeks of the abortion Mr. Loza began sexually abusing her and assaulting her (often during sex).” (The woman, through her sister, declined to comment.)

When the woman told Loza that she was pregnant again, in March 2007, Loza “reacted violently” and “hit [the woman] on the head with the sole of a leather shoe, the type he wears to work,” according to a judge’s finding. Loza then “pushed her against the wall” while the woman crouched down to protect her unborn child from the beating.

Loza began what the woman’s lawyer would call a “relentless campaign to terminate the pregnancy.” But this time she refused to do it.

The baby was born in October 2007. Two months later, on Dec. 10, Loza again abused the woman, after she tossed into the garbage some old shoes belonging to another woman Loza had fathered a child with. Loza, according to court documents, “berated” the woman, saying “that she was stupid and that she should not touch anything belonging to the mother of his other children.” Scared of what Loza might do, she took the baby and left the apartment. It was after 1 a.m., and it was raining outside.

Court records outline what happened next: A passerby hailed a cab to drive her to the police station. There, police told her to go back to Loza’s place to work things out. She did, spending the night on the couch with the baby. In the morning, Loza “called her stupid” and “said that she has only caused problems since she has been here and that she should not do anything because he could hurt her a lot.” He then pushed the woman “very hard” and invited her to fight him. She didn’t.

That day, she left Loza’s apartment, filed for a restraining order, and never returned. She went to live with her sister and struggled to make ends meet.

Whereas most Salvadoran immigrants come to the U.S. in order to send money back home, the woman was relying on her own mother sending money from El Salvador, says the woman’s sister.

For months afterward, Loza denied paternity and refused to pay child support. Then, while simultaneously denying he was father of the child in one court proceeding, he filed another court action demanding sole custody. (These court proceedings yielded the details for the history of Loza’s stormy relationship with his companion.) In March 2008, a judge ordered Loza to pay $878 per month in child support.

Loza eventually dropped his paternity challenge and continued pressing for custody of the child. The woman’s lawyer succinctly presented the case this way in a court filing: “Ted Loza is an adjudicated batterer who demanded the abortion of the very minor child of whom he now seeks custody. After his daughter was born, Mr. Loza showed no interest in her, concealing her very existence from his family.”

Loza’s lawyer retorted that the woman was leading a “double lifestyle” on the Internet. As proof of this duplicity, a court filing included a printout of the woman’s MySpace page, including photos of the woman in a swimsuit, and the blockbuster allegation that of her 360 online friends, “252 or 66% are males.” As for the custody issue, Loza’s essential position was that the woman’s immigration status was in flux and she could be sent to El Salvador. About a year ago, the woman was granted a four-year ‘T’ visa—a type of visa reserved for victims of human trafficking.

Earlier this year, Superior Court Judge Jerry S. Byrd tossed the custody case out of court, finding that Loza had abused the mother on at least two occasions and that he “has shown little or no interest in the minor child.”

In a deposition, Loza explained why he waited some six months after the woman left his apartment to file for visitation rights: “I’ve got 90,000 people that we are responsible for in our ward. I’m the chief of staff for an elected official. I’m trying to stay active in presidential campaigns.”

Of the whole court proceeding, Loza says in a statement: “I have always disputed these horrible allegations. I had a relationship with [her]. I was active and present when my daughter was born. I was in the delivery room. We named her after my mother and she bears my last name. Unfortunately, [her] allegations were designed to allow her to stay in this country legally. I do not blame her for that.”

Not only does Loza have the $878 per month obligation to care for this youngest child, but he has three other children by two mothers. A search of court records in Virginia and the District did not turn up any further child support obligations. There are other signs of financial stress: City records indicate that Loza owes more than $13,000 in property taxes on his Columbia Heights condo.

Then there’s his legal fees for the custody dispute. Loza’s lawyer in that matter, Dominic G. Vorv, says he cut Loza a break on a case that easily could have cost $10,000. “I gave him a good deal because he’s a community leader,” Vorv says. “I helped him out. To me, Ted has always been an honorable, respectful person. He fought to be in the life of this child.” Prior to retaining Vorv, Loza had Warner Session, a well-respected and politically connected attorney, assist him in his dealings with the woman.

Loza has had run-ins with the law in matters not involving his familial obligations. He was arrested on an assault charge in Virginia in 1999, prior to joining Graham’s staff. Graham said on Thursday that he was unaware of the arrest. In March 2008, Loza tangled with a bouncer at the Marvin restaurant and bar on 14th Street, during which, according to a police report, Loza said he would “possibly bring up whether Marvin’s liquor license should be suspended.” Graham, then as now, has oversight over the city liquor licensing apparatus. He said Thursday that after the incident was reported, “[Loza] and I discussed it, and there were various discussions about that.”

Loza’s legal and personal issues in recent years go some way toward explaining why, when allegedly accepting an envelope stuffed with $500 in cash, he told his alleged briber, “You know I need it. That’s why I take it, you know.”

When asked last week about Loza’s money issues, whether he had any personal issues that would explain the allegations, Graham said, “I have no idea.”

That’s a tough line to swallow considering Graham and Loza’s financial entanglements.

And just as Graham insists upon ignorance about Loza’s money problems, he also takes a know-nothing stance on his aide’s legislative activities, which are at the heart of the two-count bribery indictment. In his initial comments to reporters last Thursday, Graham made an unusually broad statement of denial. Not only did he insist that he “had no engagement whatsoever in any illegal or unethical behaviors,” but he added that Loza “has never to my recollection spoken to me about any element of any taxicab bill I was considering.”

Consider the implications of that statement: Graham is saying that he didn’t confer at all with Loza about a crucial piece of legislation in his council docket. At the same time, Loza’s court file indicates that his boss was deeply involved in his relationship troubles. Thus the prospect that Graham knew more about Loza’s personal life than about his work on the council.

How credible is that scenario?

Loza declined to comment on his relationship with Graham, but he was clearly closer to him than anyone else in his office. And even though Loza was a community liaison, not a legislative guy, that doesn’t mean his influence didn’t bridge those worlds. His role in the office was that of political handyman—the operative who kept his ear to the ground in the ward, who could tell whether a particular legislative effort would keep his boss in good stead with the electorate.

Over their years in the trenches, Graham grew to respect Loza’s “opinion on how something affects the community,” in the words of a former staffer. If Loza had ever told Graham that a small change to taxicab legislation would help the councilmember with his Ethiopian constituents, “his ears would perk up.”

The councilmember declined a request for an interview on his relationship with Loza. Through a spokesperson, however, he denied knowing about the abuse alleged in Loza’s family court file.

“I have 25 years of service in the District of Columbia,” Graham said shortly after news of the indictment broke. “I have never, ever had any taint in that record. I have behaved with the utmost care in terms of ethics, conflicts of interest. That situation continues to this day.”

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Our Readers Say

Wow. Just, wow. Teddy Loza almost makes Marion Barry look good. There's no way that Graham is not taking a hit for this.

Bests,

huh?
Disgusting. Totally and absolutely abhorrent. Ugh.
How could Loza qualify for US citizenship with a criminal record for assault and past restraining orders? This is outrageous, especially when the individual he brought over got a visa as a victim of human trafficking. Deport his ass after he finishes his jail term for bribery.
Loza is innocent until proven guilty. That said, if these allegations are true, and given the information provided here he should be deported for abuse and fraud. And Jim Graham absolutely needs to resign as he is an inefficient council member who is easily swayed and clearly he and his cronies can be bought at a price. This is shameful but I am glad that people are finally realizing what monsters Loza and Graham truly are.
So what does Graham's predominately Catholic Latino constituency think of him paying for staff abortions out-of-pocket?
Jim Graham showed up to Woodley Park Last night at the request of Lee-Brian Reba (Mr. Playgirl from 1991) and proclaimed his innocence and asked that we all give Teddy the benefit of the doubt. Jim pointed out that we are all innocent until proven guilty. (Unless you're a bar owner, in which case you're guilty as sin)
Ted Loza and Jim Graham are gay lovers. Both are ugly fudge packers. Jim Graham is known for liking young Central American/Salvadoran men. He's a perverted old chicken hawk. Ted Loza is ugly and looks very sick.
I knew Teddy when I worked in the JWB and these allegations are simply shocking to me.
OMFG. Just OMFG.

Also, kudos to the City Paper for breaking this story. Your investigative reporting is really on a roll this year (Barry, Graham, Pershing Park).
Making comments like "ugly fudge packers" is down right ridiculous and proves you are an ignorant bigot. Further more, someone's physical appearance should not be what is put into question on an issue like this. Honestly, shame on you for those tactless comments which brought absolutely nothing to this discussion. If in the future you have something sensible or really anything substantive to contribute to the issue then by all means do, until then keep your hurtful and pointless comments to yourself.

That being said, I know Teddy and CM Graham (doesn’t mean I like them, because personally I don't) and if the allegations turn out to be true, then he should serve his sentence and be deported to Ecuador. Until he is proven guilty, these are allegations and while they should be taken seriously they should not be taken as a final verdict. Everyone in our nation, legal, illegal, gay, lesbian, heterosexual, while, black, latino, etc…are all protected by the presumption of innocence. It is now up to the courts to decide whether or not Teddy is guilty and not us.
Bests
This is some disturbing news by the Washington City Paper. Thank you for reporting this information.

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.

LOL@Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich


Blue Dog Democrat
Ward 4 Voter
To Mar: How is some one telling the truth make them homophopic? Jim Graham is openly gay and I have some serious doubts about whether or not Ted Loza is bisexual and Jim Graham's downlow sexual lover. What heterosexual or homosexual man would bend over backwards and do all this to help Ted Loza without looking for something in return? I can assure you, Jim Graham wanted something back for his helping Ted Loza financially. Most gay men have sex by penetrating each others anus, therefore they are fudge packers Mar? You must be a fudge packer too, because this seemed to strick a nerve with you. The truth hurts doesn't it Mar?
Who paid for Graham's prolonged trip to Ethiopia? Is it in any way connected to the cab business? There are other "coincidences" that need explaining.
Jesse Helms, that name sure fits dickhead; and I know alot of men who like to fudge pack their women, so get a life and move back down to the retarded SOUTH where u belong and stop getting your white sheet in a wad.
Thank you, city paper, for doing the reporting that the WaPo can't or won't do.
We're proud to have you in town. God knows the city need more of your fine work.
When will you start reporting on Fenty? And the others?
The Post is a joke.
Excellent job City Paper. Keep digging!

Graham is dirty beyond decent people's scope to even conceive.

Yet Vince Gray remains mute! What is he waiting for, Linda Cropp to issue a statement outlining how a Council Chair should behave in a situation like this?
Of course he has Lee Brian Reba on staff, theres an icon of propriety!
Graham should at least be relieved of any Chairmanships.
Sigmund Freud, I am not from the South. I am a Yankee! Did I hurt your feelings too? You must be a fudge packer and a bottom. Most men don't screw their wives or girlfriends in their anus. This is a homosexual thing. You do know, this can cause anal cancer? Stop being so dam sensitive.

Ted Loza is going to jail. Hopefully he will be in a cell with a big muscular Mexican named Julio. If Jim Graham is convicted of wrong doing, he will love being in a jail cell with a muscular Mexican or Salvadoran man. LOL
Jesse: actually a homo and a top -- you seem to know all the lingo -- first hand experience. Alot of men like anal sex since it's alot tighter.

Methinks you doth protest too much.
Jesse Helms: You're homophobia is really showing. You know what they say - those that hate gay men the most actually are trying to suppress their own hidden gay urges. But there's nothing wrong with that. We're in the 21st century and your free to come out of the closet and ask forgiveness from all us civilized, refined folks. Peace my gay friend!
Let me get this straight, this has been bothering me. Ted Loza insisted upon and Jim Graham paid for a late term abortion that the mother did not want to have as a matter of expediency? Aren't late term abortions illegal except in cases where the mother's life is in jeopardy? Who provided this abortion? Should be on the credit card receipt.

This being tbe same Jim Graham who diverted much needed AIDS funds to buy fine art and collector quality furniture for his offcie at a non-profit cliniic and then absconded with it when he left. He was then found to have provided a 70K per annum sweetheart deal for himself from same non-profit.

Hey, I am a pro-choice, tree huggin' , proud liberal but this is all so wrong on so many levels! Something tells me there is a freezer being frantically defrosted in Adams Morgan.
Jesse- I am actually not as you so eloquently put it a "fudge packer". In fact I am straight, young professional female in her early 20s. The simple fact that I am offended by your language and baseless "points" automatically makes me gay? Actually, it just makes me a person with a wider and broader understanding of human beings and their interactions. I think there are many flaws in your logic and the way you classify people, I actually feel sorry for you. What I don't get it why it is relevant for you if someone is gay or not, and I think it especially hurtful when you refer to someone as a "fudge packer" solely for the purpose of hurting someone.

What amazes me is that in one sitting at your computer you have managed to not only offend gays, but Latinos as well. You must be very proud of yourself for being so intolerant. In fact I bet you have a big grin on your face right now…again, I feel sorry for you. Whether or not Teddy Loza goes to jail is a completely separate issue from whether or not he is gay (which he isn't), and you mixing your own personal issues with race and sexual preference into a serious issue is completely laughable.

Finally, yes, the truth does indeed hurt…the truth is you are a homophobic man with a computer as a podium for his anger.
I've known Teddy for a number of years as a friend of a friend, and had heard about his "two families", and even about the assault. But hearing these details really brings to light what a fundamentally fucked up individual Teddy is. He invited her to fight him? What an asshat.

That said, I don't necessarily think CM Graham had to have known that his Chief of Staff took a bribe. I mean, come on - the guy was obviously in tight financial straights and someone hands him a stack of free cash? He took it and kept his mouth shut, methinks.

Your Mom
Mar, I didn't know being Hispanic/Latino is a race of people? You do know, many Hispanics are of the black race and some are of the white race. Travel to Cuba, Panama, and the Dominican Republic and you will see a lot of Negroes running around. You fucking white liberals are a trip with your bullshit. Is this why many Negroes in D.C. don't like Fenty and the whites love him? The same goes for the gay marriage issue. Many blacks are Democrats, but they are conservative on sexual issues. The Democratic Party isn't a party that's inclusive of all people. Liberal whites have brained washed Negroes to keep them in their place.

To Sigmund Freud: I like pussy, not dick up my ass. I am a heterosexual white male. This is why most gay men can't hold their wastes as they get older or get cancer in their anus from practicing anal sex. Ted Loza is probably a bisexual and was fucking Jim Graham for sexual favors. I hope both these corrupt assholes are found guilty and go to jail. The same goes for the half breed corrupt Adrian Fenty.

When others have an opinion, liberals white gays and straights will call you a racist of homophobe. This is what many white gay boys are referrring to blacks who don't support gay marriage.
wow...you are completely off your rocker...and fyi, i am not white...so, yeah...keep up with the foul mouth language and insulting people you don't even personally know and are merely speculating about...one thing is commenting on what has been reported and another thing is making up stuff...again, i am through saying anything to you because you are pathetic...enough said.
Can we concentrate on what should be problematic for ALL taxpayers -- a city employee is $13K behind on his property taxes and his condo was not on the real property tax sale (back taxes go back to 2005) even though it was disbanded this year due to a court challenge. Also, he owes back child support and his wages are apparently not being garnished? Ask how Marion Barry feels about the unequal treatment.
I watched liberal biased Bruce DePuyt at 4 p.m. on NewsChannel 8. This guy is a Fenty ass kisser. Thank you Mike DeBonis of the Washington City Paper and Mark Seagraves of WTOP for being on NewsChannel 8 today speaking the or reporting the truth. Where is Colbert King and the Washington Post? Mark Seagraves gave Mike DeBonis his prompts for staying on this story and reporting the truth.

I am not a Marion Barry fan and I wish he would disappear. Where are all the racist whites who have dogged Marion Barry for being corrupt? I don't see many in the predominately white media or whites on blogs coming after white D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham as they do with Marion Barry. You see, there's a double standard in racial politics and corruption. On the issue of Ted Loza, I never liked this guy after attending a meeting with him on Salvadoran/MS -13 gangs in Ward 4. D.C. Ward 1 Jim Graham, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Ted Loza, and the entire D.C. liberal Council supports illegal immigration in the District of Columbia and has made D.C. a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. D.C. Councilmembers Marion Barry and Jim Graham isn't the only corrupt politicians city on the D.C. Council. Most politicians are corrupt and don't work in the interest of the citizenry. They work in their own best interest by taking bribes under the table from the wealthy to make their banking accounts fatter.

Ward 4 D.C. Voter Since 1975
Native Washingtonian
Blue Dog Democrat
The posting under my name up above is false. I think its poster "Jesse Helms" using other names to post his foolishness.
I am willing to bet that Fenty received most of the 2.7 million for his reelection campaign from the New York Taxi group. This story smells like our Mayor is receiving kick backs from companies that are interested in privatizing with our city in the future. What a mess!!!

Trust Jim will start singing like a drag queen once everything is exposed. Ted and Jim got caught into mess linked from our Mayor...what idiots!!




How is Fenty tied into this? We all know that he is tied into this somehow.
Loza’s a small fish being used to catch a bigger fish. If he talks like the feds want him to, the Ward 1 seat will be up for grabs before next election. Bye bye, Jimbo.

Will the real Daddy Grace Fish Sandwich stand up please. LOL I remember my grandmother down South talking about Daddy Grace. I was afraid of this man, because he sounded like a Warlock. To the white folks out there, Daddy Grace was a mixed raced minister from Cape Verde. His church was founded in Boston and later he had churches up and down the east coast. Their headquarters is located in D.C. It's called the Jesus House of Prayer.

Where do some posters get these crazy names? LOL LOL LOL
I have to wonder if Ted Loza has something on Jim Graham and that is why Jim is standing by Ted through all those scandals.
There has got to be a reason that Jim would choose to ignore the level of violence toward women Ted has displayed.

It speaks to the bigger picture about their relationship. Sorry, but if JG is willing to put $3,200 on his credit card for a late-term abortion for a baby that was concieved while Ted was in El Salvador on a WORK-RELATED trip, then you can't tell me that he and Ted never talked about taxi cab legislation.

Many, many people, inside the Wilson building and out talk about what a misogynist JG is and I think the revelations in this story only reinforce that.
FYI:

Jonetta Rose Barras: Walking the ethics line
By: Jonetta Rose Barras
Examiner Columnist
October 1, 2009 It's not $90,000 in a freezer (a la former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La.). It's not a yacht on the Potomac (invoking images of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif.). Still, no one should dismiss the recent arrest of D.C. Council staffer Ted Loza on charges of taking a bribe. Nor should anyone ignore media reports that his boss, Ward 1's Jim Graham, is under scrutiny by investigators who are probing the taxicab industry in the District and the government agency charged with regulating it.

Those allegations are serious. But, Chairman Vincent C. Gray and other members don't seem to get that.

The council passed a Code of Conduct that among other things admonished officials not to do anything directly or through appearance that could affect "adversely the confidence of the public in the integrity of the government." In less than a week, events conspired to challenge the legislature's commitment to its new standards.

When I asked Gray and other members whether they believed the allegations warranted stripping, even temporarily, the taxicab commission from the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, chaired by Graham, the council's pledge was half-hearted.

"Councilmember Graham has not been accused in this investigation. [I] will monitor the developments very closely and will take appropriate action when appropriate circumstances are presented," Gray said through his spokeswoman Doxie McCoy.

"The councilmember has committed no wrongdoing, so there is no need for him to recuse himself from taxi issues overseen by the committee or step down from the committee," said Brian DeBose, Graham's press spokesman.

Legislators have been quick on the draw when an allegation involves the executive. Earlier this year, it threatened to take Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to court after media reports disclosed he had approved donating a firetruck and ambulance to a town in the Dominican Republic. Council members hammered him when he allowed a friend to drive a city-owned car. He was badgered about his trip to Dubai -- who paid for it, why did he go.

Now, with federal law enforcement officials closely scrutinizing the actions of one of their own, mum's the word.

Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells, Ward 4 Councilwoman Muriel Bowser and at-large Councilman Kwame Brown -- all on Graham's committee -- did not return my calls for comments.

Phil Mendelson did: "I think it's premature to ask him to step down because of mere allegations or speculation.

"But I do have some discomfort in dealing with taxicab issues. I don't think there will be any issues in the short term," Mendelson added.

Members are prepared to either stop the business of an entire industry or allow someone whose past actions have raised suspicions of federal officials to preside over important matters -- not the least of which may be legislation for which his staffer is alleged to have taken a $1,500 cash bribe.

So much for towing the ethics line.

Jonetta Rose Barras, host of WPFW's "D.C. Politics with Jonetta," can be reached at rosebook1@aol.com.
Anyone who believes Vince Gray should issue a statement pre-empting the investigation is exercising poor judgement. They have little information at this time.

And anything he knows was most likely printed in the paper already. And that would be absolutely foolish.

More will come out. The investigation is already indicating there is more. It does not exclude the council or Vince Gray from taking action in the future should the information become available
Jesse Helm, be careful on the medical facts you put out there. There is enough false information already in circulation about a number of diseases.
Contrary to what you say, smoking plays a significant role in anal-cancer development that's independent of other behavioral risk factors, such as sexual activity. Studies show that more than half of anal-cancer patients were current smokers at the time of diagnosis.

According to a professor of epidemiology at the university of Washington School of Public Health current smoking is a very important promoter of the disease She states that, there's a fourfold increase in risk if you're a current smoker, regardless of whether you're male or female.

In fact, even in controlling for other risk factors, like the number of sexual partners, anal intercourse, and HPV status, smoking was a strong risk factor for squamous-cell anal cancer.
The allegations of Jimmy Grahamass and Tedy Loca Loza have reached feces fervor and if true are sinful,shameful and sadisticly saddenin to my sinus.
Frankly, this is the real reason why politics are not seriously viewed by teh majority of citzens and thus they will not vote in elections.

My comments about race,sexual preference, wealth status or other priviledged folk will not enter into discussion this week butt,butt I am just speculationg that asses will be fucked if the shit keeps hittin the proverbial fan.
There is nothing that goes over the Devil's back that doesn't come out from between his legs.
Jim will be seen for the low down shame that he is. I have attended a number of his hearings with the TAXI cab folks. It was clear to me then as it is today. that something was wrong. I listened as Jim talked back and forth with the drivers and its as though he was married to a cab driver. He went out of his way to accomodate them. It's great that Teddy brought the councilmans corruption to the big screen. As for Teddy, after he is convicted and serves his time in a US Federal prison; send his punk ass packing!
Accepting the statements in Loose Lips's column as true, it is unfortunate that self-centered Ted Loza didn't have the decency and intelligence to use birth control at the times he was having sex with the mothers of his children (and aborted fetus).
Draft Sam Brooks!
Maybe that yummy boy Sam Brooks will move to Ward 1 and run! He is scrumptious and I bet he knows how to make the voters happy. I don't think he has given Ward 1 a chance yet.
1st off, please allow me to introduce myself b-4 we discuss..gracias.
In breve, briefly, I have worked, played, & explored life with some of New York City's most prominet Afro-Latin-Salsa-Son-Jazz Artist, past n present Musical Legends..shared space with hollywood figures..

Born n raised on the "south side" of Chicago,I've experienced a blessed personal phone conversation con Doctora Maya Angelou..I've Floated in and out of Harpo studios, my life is wonderful.
I am the little mexican girl who wasn't suppose to survive..shall we?

A) why would mr. loza simply not leave this mujer in el salvador? was she that politically connected or wealthy that she could have caused him harm from el salvador? cross country paternity suits I kinda don't think r too easy, n one would imagine very expensive. ??? explain this to me like brother denzel said, like i was a three yr old??

b) Loza said to someone, I'm going to take your liquor license..exactly to whom did mr. loza say this to? n in front of how many witness's? or r we as a people to believe this as a truth simply because a police officer said so? no disrespect to our people in blue, long familia of chicago police officers here, but c'mon? although i like things explained to me as though i was 3, aha, I'm a grown ass woman dawg, I live in reality.

c) then like your writing a salad, you throw in, i would assume for the shock of the sentence, "arrested in virginia", for what? reckless reporting? perhaps, as a writer myself, n as quoted by sister maya, "a very good writer, I was impressed", per dr. angelou. My knees got weak when I heard Her voice say those words, anyway's when one has to write for the shock value, hmm, severe lack of creativity, n yes, I would judge that reckless, but given the world i work in, I am respectful of everyone's reputation n diginity, because @ the end of the day, that is all we have. shame, shame..

d) Omar Pardillo assistant 2 La Guarachera de Cuba, La Unica, Ms. Celia Cruz told me hmm, some 5 years ago I suppose,as he waved his hands all about me, "your style, the way you wear what you wear reminded me imm'd of Celia."
I was humbly honored, shit, i was blown away. I said that to say this.
You gossiped about ted wearing a bow-tie? this is shear n pure critisicm..plain n simple..black n white..so should we now assume that they all copied from senator paul simon of ill? n who the freak cares?? so now i would have to caution readers to take that fact into consideration when deciding whether to believe or not to believe future articles regarding anyone, but in this case mr. ted loza since the city papaer has openly n simply stooped to pure critisicm.
I assure you, both mr. loza n mr. graham have style all their own which in my opinion is totally n utterly irrelevant to the devastating accusations being tossed so freely with regards to their lives..

e) hmm, now we workers, past n present who r NOW coming forward with allegations of what amounts to discrimination charges..ugh, correct me for not knowing this, but is there no E.E.O.C. office in D.C.? according to what the article stated, they were held accountable for being late, they were mistreated, n what sounds like horrible discriminatory actions of behald of mr. graham, what's the problem? this is my problem, they r admitting to us via your newspaper that instead of coming forward imm'd, n protecting the tax paying people of d.c. by reporting this "abuse" of power, they ???????? Let me say this, n this is in the court records..I single handedly took on not 1, but 2 corporate mutli-billion at least million dollar industry's n won..simply btwn the e.e.o.c. n me...so explain this to me again? these discriminated agaisnt employees did what to protect themselves n perhaps future employee's? to make things within that office comfortable n EQUAL for all parties subjected to this ILLEGAL treatment? what did they do to correct the situation???
call me dumbo, i'm all ears????

f) when i held a "9-5", lord have mercy , I would have loved to have had a boss, 1/2 as gracious, caring, generous, sharing of himself, trusting, & open person such as mr. jim graham......in the event that the city paper isn't fully aware, this is bribery matter...what buisness is it of anyone what their personal lives consisted of? My concern as a tax payer is, r they getting the job done, n r they doing it with honor n dignity in the capacity of warriors for nuestra jente, 4 the people, n we can not deny that they have..It was none of my buisness what President Bill Clinton did in his personal life, that is strictly btwn the man n his mujer..if ted's broke, perhaps is not a good money manager, overspends like millions of americans, who's concern is that? it's none of my buisness, nor more then i want loza n graham asking about my personal finances..geeez..hey reporters, how's your credit? have u ever borrowed? ever fallen on hard times? perhaps we should base whether we believe U or not based on your personal lives?

g) bueno mi jente, well my people, let's rap this session up with my closing statement/question? # 1, why would mr. loza b at the hospital during the birth of this "unwanted" child? n then go even further, and name her after his (Madre) something we all know is "sacred", for everyone, it has been my experience that perhaps it's taken to the extreme in the community of color.? here we go, explain this to me? break down for me, kika, how this scenario makes sense to anyone? I don't even think it makes sense to u city paper, n if it does, wow..maybe it's the years spent living n running in n.y. c that makes me demand that in order to believe it MUST make sense to me..call me silly, call me what ever u want, but exaplin the common sense in what citypaper wrote?, did the mother say to your paper that he wasn;t there, n that infact the baby wasn't named after ted's madre n has his last name?? As a mother of 4 beautiful children who had little to no help from the their father's, yes plural, crucify me, i know the freaking difference all too well when a father wants no part in his child's life...if she (the mother) did not come forward n imm'd dispute mr. loza's statements, then I would assume that it is therefore safe for me to believe mr. loza..correct?? makes perfect sense to this south-sider, via new yorker..but go ahead, feel free to explain..

One final statement...as a victim of brutal physical n sexual attacks at the hands of men who claimed to love me, if i knew that this person was in such a position of power, why would i not want to come forward and comment, make sure this monster wa exposed to the world, so that he could never again harm another person? I would b screaming it from the mountain tops.n yet the "victim" in this scenario is refusing comment? all of this information based on what the sister is saying? in a court of law that is strictly hear say, gossip? if all of these law enforcement people knew of mr. loza's dangerous behaviour, why didn't they see 2 it that he was removed imm'd from such a "powerful" position? why did the judge in these cases directly contact councilmember jim graham with a strong recommendation that loza b removed?? alot of blame to b shared here as far as i can see..n yet the only one being implicated here n blamed is loza? what about the other people mentioned above?r they not in their postions to protect us from such actions n criminal behaviour?? I am not saying that I don't care about a victim of abuse, but when all is said n done, it only matters that she, the victim/s care n act n act strongly n fiercely wherever any form of abuse is occuring, then not years later, after their safely removed from the situation, what about the ones to follow??

I found my freedom in the Slavery room @ the DuSable Museum of African America History sweet home south chicago..my experience was shared by Ms. Antoinette Wright @ a luncheon engagement she was attending several months ago..ms. wroght is the President of D.S.M...

kika
La Reina de La Calle/Queen of the Streets....

I am not a court of law, therefore i pass no verdict of guilt or innocence, I only know my rights, our rights, what was written for us..innocent until proven guilty..and at hand here is mr. loza's charges of bribery not character n personal life.or do i need to explain that to citypaper as though they were 3 years old??
Kika, your spoutings are a rambling, incoherent mess. Take remedial English and writing and leave the postings to folks who aren't are crack and also full of themselves.
Wow.

Ted Loza hit on me in 2007 at the opening of the U St. farmers market. He was pretty forward and dropped lots of sexual innuendo. I chalked it up to his ego related to his job. So many ppl in DC think they're big fish. He kept insisting I go to a house party with him that night.......of course I declined.

I read this story and immediately thought of the creepy/desperate guy at the farmers market. Then I remembered he gave me his card....i found it today. It was Ted Loza!

Sounds like I dodged a bullet!
to whom it may concern.
I wrote what i felt, what I think, and with regards to what is at hand for my people who were deeply affected in the process of all of this name throwing, the people r the victims here, the people of .d.c...Now, whether or not there is a typo, mis-spelling or what ever, the concept, the thought provoking issues were suppose to b the focal point here, obviously, if all one can do is worry about gramatical errors, then they obviously have nothing to contribute but nasty retorts n useless words, you don't affect me, offend me or otherwise..

and the case I layed out is the same argument as yesterday..n I have yet to see a solid response to that..

as far as the guy that is on here contstantly bashing homosexuals, i find exceptionally scarry, n capable of hurting someone, and so I took it upon my little south chicago self to copy and forward all of his comments to the f.b.i. I do not play with threatning comments...if the city paper doesn't monitor this comment section for potential stalkers or sicko's, then yet once again, the chore is left to the people, and I did, and I will continue, this freako on here picked the wrong page to b pushing out his ism's...

still waiting on someone's actual rebuttal..not looking for any english teacher here.

kika
la reina de la calle
It's a known fact, D.C. Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham love Salvadoran/Central American young men. This is why he supports illegal immigration and he has visited El Salvador several times looking to get laid by a young Salvadoran man. Jim is a old Chicken Hawk!
In your article, did you talk directly with the Salvadorian young Lady, to get her declaration for your article or did you talk with her transgender sister? I would like to hear what Teddy's mistress has to say without having the "sister" around.
Kika, what are you rambling about? Are you on "CRACK"? We have the slightest clue to what you are talking about. I you truly emailed the FBI, they will ignore you, because they know you are a nut case. Haven't you heard of free speech and the 1st amendment? I guess not, if you are a Mexican citizen.
Bow-tie has gone too far now. If this were Councilmember Barry, they would have tried to fry the man. I think that this states how Councilmember Graham has let his influence go to his head. The constituents are the most important thing like they were when Councilmember Graham first took office. I think that he and Mayor Fenty have crossed the line on who they serve. Neither one of them assist the poor, but they proudly provide assistance to child killers and investors that strip the poor of housing. They are all show when the cameras are around and when they leave you can't get an ounce of assistance.
Reading the postings on this article, I see the nut jobs and haters are out in force. Too bad, because CP did some great work unearthing sordid details, yet the nut jobs make serious discussion difficult.
to Jaylin4dc: The same exact thing happened to me. I met Loza in 2001 at the (now-defunct) Columbia Heights market and Loza came on to me (I was 22), also asking me to go to a house party with him that night, also giving me his business card! He kept pursuing me later even though his wife (?) was pregnant at the time! Why have constituents and his boss turned a blind eye to his raunchy/creepy/apparently abusiveness for so long?
My God , what is going on in DC? Is this a story from a public ‘servant’ who robed public, abusing women , bribe , not paying tax ,clantalism with line manager . From this small story I think the public sector procedure and internal control need to be revisited .
In the past 2 weeks a scandel invovling a Bill purpose by Councilmember Jim Graham and co-sponsored by Ward 4 Council member Muriel Bowser has surfaced. Council member Graham's Chief of staff arrested. Graham's own integrity is being questioned. Also people have been indicted and arrested, since last Friday on bribery charges. On October 1, 2009 the City Paper did an excellent article on the relationship between Graham and his Chief of Staff. My question to the City Paper, how come you have not done an investigation or scrutinize Muriel Bower Ward 4 Council women who co-sponsored the bill with Graham? Bowser being the co-sponsor in a bill that clearly favors big-money interest, she clearly needs to explain her part in agreeing to co-sponsor this bill. Her legistative aid needs to explain, David L. Crokett why he encouraged the councilmember to not only support this bill, but to be a co-sponsor? With allegations of thousands of dollars being spent to bribe public officials, her role in all of this needs to be examine. Councilmember Jim Graham is under scrutiny from the City Paper, Council member Bowser needs the same scrutiny.

City Paper Story written by Jason Cherkis, 12/5/09 "Accidental Crusader, Afred Hawkins, Jr. A DC Taxi driver
This is so sad, sad for Graham, sad for Teddy and sad for the city
KIKA, you used this forum to write a nonsensical narrative...if you are such a tremendous writer then why is it that I could not understand a thing you attempted to convey. You ramble incessantly! Stop name-dropping as no one cares about Maya Angelou or Oprah for that matter. You do get it, don't you? DCists don't traditionally care about celebrity, it's corrupt politics and more of it that is the thing here.

And MAR get a life or go into full-time gay rights work! You are sick to attack JESSE because of his opinion. Are you Ted Loza in guise of MAR? You could have fooled me! But still, GET A LIFE LOCA MAR!
ALFREDHAWKINS, did Graham hire you to perform underground work on his behalf in the face of the taxicab corruption melee? You sound like a big A-kisser!

WHY is it "so sad" for all of them? Why are you bringing Muriel into this as though you are making a point? There could be 10 co-sponsors or more to a piece of legislation...so does that mean if corruption is found within the house of one legislature then all must be corrupt? Dude, go back to school and learn how to construct logic tables? Just maybe that would help you some.
Hmm...someone named soso, probably refering to thier ability to read and comprehend said, n I quote, "D.C. doesn't care about Dr. Maya Angelou or Ms. Oprah Winfrey".
I do not fault you since you r probably unable to understand Dr. Angelou's words either..n most certainly have no appreciation for both of these strong, articulate, thought provoking mujeres...it's your choice to continue living in ignorance.

For those that commented about my Mexicanism...ja.ja.ja..what that has to do with the charges at hand pending against Mr. Teddy Loza, I have no idea, but never the less, the racist idiot put it out there so i'll put this.
yes..I am a very proud, Mexican Mujer who's only shame is what "we" as "americans" have done to a race of people..Yes, we as Latino's have suffered, but never ever comparable to what was endured as a race of people such as African Americans..Men were refered to as bucks, shackled with chains with arms spread out while white men shot at them for practice, black mothers having their babies ripped from thier arms because the white man said she had no right to her very own child..the white man also said that black's had no right to marraige..I can go on and on with disgusting details regarding "this" country, but why, we get the point. I said that to say this.
Write whatever racism's u choose, because we all know that that is exactly what this country was built on..Racism n Torture based on the color of one's skin...Aren't we all happy that america is still filled with racist bigots..give it up for our wonderful land of the free!! n such an intellegent intellectual people r nations capitol has..I'm sooooo impressed with you's..bravo d.c.
KIKA, it seems like you just learned to read, write and understand English. You should really work harder at it. Honey, I'm a trained rhetorician with a license to say feeuck Maya, Oprah and whomever else you name drop (You seem like you long to be part of the literati or niggerati in-crowd knowing you have not a single qualification)...do you need lessons. As I told you before, DC is not celebrity struck. We're just not that ooh aahh community. What is puzzling though is that I'm trying to figure out if you believe your posts are impactful. Guess what? THEY ARE NOT! Instead of worrying about our city, why don't you put together a reform effort to cease all of the rapes, tattooed faces, and gang violence that go in your community of Mexis! What about the poor kid who was fatally beaten in your town...you have a lot to work with there so keep your nose in your own backyard of burritos, Dahling. Oh, by the way stop it with verbose, winding, incoherent passages that amount to nothing. You haven't learned enough English to try to get down like that. Geez!
KINKA, I forgot to mention in my earlier post that your friend MR. LOZA and MR. GRAHAM are LOVERS. Now, provide a dissertation on that one!
Kika, are you off your meds? If so, please take them and shut the fuck up. You sound like a crazy "BITCH". You are not making any sense. I agree with Solsa and others.
Graham is a pig!
This post and the comments thread are extremely entertaining for the gossip-lover side of me, but it's also very sad to see that the level of hatred that Jim Graham and Ted Loza spark on some people.

Being neutral, which is hard for me in this case, I see that most of the attacks on Graham and Loza are partially -at least- motivated mostly by envy, racism, homophobia, xenophobia and stereotypes. How come Graham is a favorite for reelection? Maybe his attackers are not Ward One residents after all.

My take, I'm a bit tempted to write my honest thoughts on both Graham and Loza, whom I had the chance to meet and interact with. But I won't be falling into the dirtiness of politics and personal revenge. I'm not a displaced working class neighbor, an envious developer, a liquor store owner nor a failed politician.

While I wouldn't consider myself a friend of the mentioned, I'm a bit disgusted in the words I read here. This confirms why my friends that visit D.C. tell me this a place of hate. Fine, you don't like Graham? Don't vote for him. Elect someone else.

But when you all try so hard to get deeply into these guys' personal lives, it shows that you run out of arguments when it comes to their political performances. If you know any politician in D.C. who is a model citizen, just name one.

Would I support Graham? Not sure. That doesn't mean I will expose his privacy to his opponents. That's nasty, karma is a biatch.

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