Loose Lips

Ted Loza Remaining Politically Active

LL was poking around campaign finance records and noticed this tiny gem of limited interest: Ted Loza isn't going to let a federal trial on corruption charges get in his way of civic engagement.

Loza donated $25 to Mayor Vince Gray's campaign two days before the Democratic primary. Loza also donated $50 to Chairman Kwame Brown's campaign, with one $25 payment right before the primary, and one after.

Loza, you may recall, was arrested in September 2009 on charges of corruption that included allegedly taking $1,500 in bribes. The prosecutor's indictment has Loza saying "You know I need it. That's why I take it, you know," when accepting an envelope full of cash from a taxicab lobbyist.

Court records show that Loza's appointed legal team will be paid by the Office of the Federal Public Defender.

Couple of issues here to ponder: Should someone getting taxpayer-funded legal help really be spending money on political campaigns? And should elected leaders accept money from a guy charged with taking bribes in order to influence city legislation?

And for the record, Loza did not donate to his former boss, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery.

  • Constantly Surprised

    Why would you suggest that someone who's is receiving legal defense funds should not be entitled to publicly support candidates?

    Should anyone with a public defender not go to the movies, or not buy ice cream, or not contribute to a church, the Salvation Army or the Red Cross?

    That question about your presuming he's given up his rights (aside from being either pompous or worse) distracts from your second question...

    As for your question about should a politician (knowingly) accept a contribution from an Loza -- that's a better question. I think its probably clearly embarassing, the question is whether a public "disowning" is better or worse from i) the P.R. implications; and ii) whether some personal relationship existed from Loza having been working in his role as a staff person or community activist. That's not an easy answer unless you're in a simple position or need to to condemn Loza.

    Don't you think simply reporting his (not) HUGE contributions speaks for itself?

  • drez

    If we (taxpayers) are paying for Loza's legal bills (and we are), than doesn't that mean we're subsidizing his income, a (small) portion of which he is donating to politicians?

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Maybe if he had donated to Fenty's campaign, Drez wouldn't care.

    Loza is a shady opportunist, who has gained from his position of influence for years. It's just frightening that this idiot would even prioritizing donating funds to public campaigns over the shit storm he's in right now. Graham has probably cut him loose and he's looking for friends elsewhere.
    I don't think it even matters at this point what he does with his money, because it probably came from us (taxpayers) through his huge pre-arrest salary or from his side dealings. Either way, I could care less. He's a drain regardless.

  • EP Sato

    How long before he's indicted and we no longer have to hear the name of skeezy Loza again?

  • ThomDC

    More importantly when is career criminal Jim Graham going to be doin' his perp walk? Graham was the dog Loza laid down with after all. Of course, prison would be like heaven for Jimbo.

  • rosesdc

    Can't believe that you all keep on with this petty meanness about Loza when there are so many multi-million dollar "legitimate" councilmember transactions, tax abatements, etc. going on. $75 is what - 15-20 minutes of a lawyer's time?

  • bigman

    has jim graham fired ted loza yet? or is he still drawing $100k a year while on "administrative leave/vacation"?