City Desk

Ted Loza on Paid Administrative Leave, Graham Says

Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham says he has placed his chief of staff, arrested today in a federal bribery probe, on paid administrative leave, saying he is entitled to a presumption of innocence.

He also reiterated that Ted Loza had not tried to sway him on taxicab legislation: "Nothing that happened that has been alleged whether it occurred or didn't occur, had any influence on any action I took in terms of the legislation on taxicabs....There's absolutely no impact of anything relating to these allegations on that legislation. Going one step further, I had never had any conversation with Teddy Loza where he came to me and he said, 'Will you do this or will you do that?'" He added that the legislation resulted from a task force that had engaged in a year's worth of deliberations.

Graham did say he had indeed met with one of the individuals alleged in the indictment to have bribed Loza, a day ahead of the legislative meeting where Graham introduced the bill. But he denied that the taxi matter even came up: "There were no changes to that legislation as a result of any meeting," he says.

Regarding the employment of Loza's wife at the Fiesta D.C. nonprofit, Graham "categorically" denied that was connected to his practice of sending earmarked funds to the group through his committee. And he also addressed why, from 2002 to 2007, he held a one-percent interest in Loza's condominium apartment: "When he first purchased the apartment, he wanted some assistance from me; I helped him a little bit." When Loza refinanced, he says, he got his money back.

Graham also went to great pains to say that Loza would not be in a position to influence a bill generally: "Teddy worked here in the personal staff. He had hardly any involvement in legislative matters...That was just not Teddy's set of responsibilities, having to do with legislation."

So why would someone bribe Loza, his longtime right-hand man, to fix legislation? "I cannot explain it," he says.

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  • Anonymous

    The Grahamstander just needs to shut up...he looks more and more guilty the more he talks.

  • fedupcitizen

    Liar, liar pants on fire.

  • Truth Hurts

    Maybe Graham's hoping the cops will lose the videotape. It could happen.

  • JB

    Graham should shut up alright and resign. Good riddance.

    I wouldn't mind seeing people outside with loudspeakers until he does.

  • KCinDC

    A 1% interest? He could manage to pay 99% but somehow needed help for the last 1%? What sense does that make? There's something very weird going on there.

  • Tom Riddle

    Loza wasn't taking the bribes for himself. He was taking them on behalf of Graham. Graham is scum but smart enough not to take it directly. Loza is a stupid tool who thinks (thought) he's going to be a council member one day. Poor thing

  • Anonymous

    Not 'poor thing' at all. Ted Loza has been self-motivated and on-the-make for years. Ever wonder how he drove a late-model BMW on his (then lower) salary and while paying child support to 1 woman who was not his wife and paying for the two children with the one who was? As he told me, his 'friends' set him up with a deal he couldnt refuse. I'm not sure if this is a crime, but, like pressuring the Fiesta DC Board to hire his wife, it has at least the appearance of leading to a conflict of interest, and any clean Council employee would have avoided this situation.

    In addition to possible work improprieties, Ted was charged with assault last year, and was also at the center of a serious rumor suggesting he tried to have the undocumented mother of yet another out-of-wedlock child of his deported. This is, again, just a rumor at this point, but those of us who knew him well didn't have a hard time believing it. Remarkable.

    I agree that it would appear that Jim Graham must be involved, but Ted Loza himself lacks integrity and is responsible for his own actions.

  • JMan

    “You know I need it. That’s why I take it you know.”

    After the tape recorder crapped out:

    “Because they’re having a preferred customer’s sale at my favorite clothiers. As a chief of staff to a DC city councilman, we all know I have needs, like the need to dress like a Lebanese banker. People expect this of a person of my power and stature. I can’t let the public down. These suits are my trademark, especially the uniquely colored ones, and come on fellas, these Egyptian cotton European fitted shirts don’t buy themselves! So, I really appreciate the help at this time.”

  • Trevon

    Ya’ll just a bunch of homophobes who jump at the first chance you get to start a smear campaign against the Councilmember’s office. Last time I checked in this here free country everyone is innocent until proven otherwise.

  • Panhandler

    $1500 in bribes is CHUMP CHANGE. It's obvious that Loza was gaming the informants. He had no influence on legislation. Teddy works among the community, not on the committee. Wait for the other shoe to drop. It won't land on the head of anyone thus far named in this developing story.

  • Mike Licht

    Ted Loza sat on the Board of Fiesta DC and his wife worked for the organization, which received a $200,000 Council earmark. Mr. Graham is an honorary board member.

    This is a good time to put some substance in the Council's new ethics code by banning all Council earmarks. It is a recent practice, and a corrosive one.

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    I think the legislation on taxi cabs is an importnat issue and should be looked into more

  • remote control helicopters fan

    Doesn't seem fair, seems to be getting away lightly just because of his position