Loose Lips Daily: New Ethics Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! LL supposes his invite was lost in the mail. News time:
Let's Get Some Ethics Up In Here: Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown is looking to beef up city government's ethical standards. Not because of anything that's happened recently, he says, but because that's what he promised on the campaign trail. He and Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced legislation yesterday that would "create an accountability office tasked with investigating and penalizing city employees and council members for ethical breaches," reports the Examiner, which has political consultant Chuck Thies' stamp of approval. "The council's hand has been forced, Kwame Brown's hand has been forced, and anything less than legislation that creates robust reform would have been a whitewash," says Thies. The Post notes that "the council’s practicing lawyers — Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and David Catania (I-At Large) — would have to disclose complete client lists for the first time. Evans’ work at the Patton Boggs firm has come under scrutiny from time to time; Catania is in-house counsel for a Northern Virginia technology firm, OpenBand, that is a subsidiary of a city contractor, M.C. Dean. ... Evans said that the idea was a 'nonstarter,' saying that most law firms would not allow their attorneys to disclose their clients." Of course, one way around that dilemma would be for councilmembers not to work for private clients while in office, but what does LL know?
AFTER THE JUMP: More Sulaimon! Council DINOs; Auditor Bashes Lew...
Can't Get Enough Sulaimon!: A unanimous yes vote with no debate from the council yesterday kept l'affaire Sulaimon in the news cycle again. The council is asking a judge to force Sulaimon Brown, Cherita Whiting, and Peyton Brooks to come and testify in front of Cheh's committee. The Post, in a story on the front page of its Metro section, has reaction from Brown, who says Cheh "can't be trusted," and Whiting, who says she'll be happy to testify if a judge tells her to. (Brown says he doesn't trust Cheh because she's "trying to help Vincent Gray cover it up." By trying to make Brown talk about his allegations in public?) Brooks, like always, didn't have nothin' to say. The Post also notes, as LL did, that "are new signs that federal authorities have accelerated their criminal probe." LL-for-Life Ken Cummins, who did the background checks for the Gray transition, says he's been in touch with the feds as recently as a week ago.
Lew Dinged: LL missed this in yesterday's roundup, but the Washington Business Journal's Michael Neibauer first reported that City Administrator Allen Lew may not be infallible after all. City auditor Deborah Nichols released an audit that says Lew, city administrator under Mayor Vince Gray and school construction chief under former Mayor Adrian Fenty, established a 'cumbersome and opaque' contracting system designed to 'obstruct transparency and accountability.'" Lew says he was "nimble" and got stuff done. You got a problem with that?
Council DINOs: In a lengthy piece on the Huffington Post, Art Levine gives some of the District's elected officials a good whacking for being Democrats in name only and catering to the wishes of the rich instead of the needs of the poor. Levine also reports that "even before these cuts that could throw nearly 2,400 homeless families and single adults into the street , basic services have already been so shriveled that the city's primary intake center, the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center, is turning away families seeking emergency shelter—and just calling their relatives on their behalf or giving them bus tokens to ride the buses all night as a way to catch some sleep with their babies in tow." On that note, the group Save Our Safety Net, is planning a rally of some sort called the "Safety Net Reality Tour" today at the Wilson Building.
In Other News: If you see the Washington Blade's Lou Chibbaro around, congratulate him. Demoted cop says Police Chief Cathy Lanier is unfair, Cherita Whiting somehow involved. Gas mogul Joe Mamo speaks to the Post, too. Jonetta's take on the budget dealings. Gray to announce permanent DDOT pick today, only five short months into his administration!
Gray sked: Presser at 1 p.m.
Council sked: nada.