City Desk

Graham Withdraws From Taxi Oversight

Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham has relinquished his oversight of the District's taxicab industry.

The move comes more than a month after his chief of staff, Ted Loza, was collared in a bribery sting where taxi-related interests are alleged to have paid Loza to influence cab legislation. Graham has had the D.C. Taxicab Commission under the purview of his public works and transportation committee since 2007, giving him great control over legislation affecting the taxi business, as well as the power to investigate the industry.

The timing, to say the least is odd. Both Graham and Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray came under fire from LL and others for not making this move sooner. And, earlier this month, the pressure had eased on Graham after federal prosecutors decided not to interview a pair of key staffers before a grand jury

"Though I have committed no crime, nor am I reportedly the target of any investigation, I want to ensure that Taxicab Commission oversight continues without any distractions relating to the Ted Loza indictment," Graham wrote in a letter released to the press this afternoon.

Graham spokesperson Brian DeBose says his boss "had been planning on doing this for a week now or more." The issue was, who would take over the responsibilities? Gray, who has defended Graham's right to keep taxis in his portfolio, "wasn't part of the decision to step down. That was totally Jim's decision."

All taxi matters will be handled until further notice by Gray's Committee of the Whole.

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Comments

  1. #1

    Maybe it's just me, but this seems odd...why now? He insists that he's innocent, and for three weeks refused to give up oversight and now he does? Also, I find the whole "he's been planning on it" but was trying to figure out who would take over arguement a bit bogus...

  2. #2

    Why now? Because Graham was too self-absorbed to do it earlier. And yes, the "he's been planning on it" argument is bogus. So Vince "one city" Gray played no part in Graham's decision? That's what he's saying? If true, it's pathetic and further shows his unwillingness to stand for anything other than his political aspirations. If it's not true, then he's dishonest. Either way, I hope LL keeps reporting this fiasco.

  3. #3

    Odd? How so? Loza is negotiating his plea deal. What cards could Ted Loza possibly have in his hands with which to deal? BINGO! He has the goods on Graham.

    Does anyone still believe that Graham was not a beneficiary of this lucre in one way or another? $320,000.00 (cash) to the Chair of the Taxi Commission vs. $1500.00 to Ted Loza, yeah right.

    As the Post's AIDS epic makes clear there are huge amounts of money floating around AIDS. Jim Graham invented and perfected the AIDS grift. Does anyone believe that someone of such low mortal character as to systematically loot funding aimed at an emerging, collosal epidemic in order to buy to buy art, furniture and bagatelles would think twice about taking money from taxi drivers?

    I hope the FBI dogs this and doesn't allow Nickles to put up a smoke screen. This look the othewr way while one hand washes the other culture must be rooted out. Nickles, Gray are all part of it.

  4. #4

    Dear Jim:

    You're a day late, a dollar short, and you left the driver no tip.

    Bests,

    The Ghost of J. Edgar (Mary) Hoover

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