Kwame Brown Doubles Down
Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown is not backing down: He never specifically requested a freakin' Navigator, okay?
Brown's been on a mini media blitz today telling reporters, though not LL (yet—LL is still here if you want to call, Mr. Chairman), that he stands by his story that all he ever wanted was a black-on-black SUV, despite the fact that emails the Post obtained in February strongly suggest otherwise, and emails LL recently obtained do even more suggesting otherwise.
What about that email from a Department of Public Works employee that says Brown "wants a Navigator comparably equipped" to the mayor's?
“It’s an email basically saying that he said that he said that she said that I said something," Brown told WTOP reporter Mark Segraves.
Brown's point is valid; the email is not proof positive. But it is another piece in a very large collection of evidence that supports the idea that Brown requested a lot more than just a black-on-black SUV.
Anyway, we're all probably sick of this story by now, right? No? Okay, jerks, here's some more details.
On the damage to a rented Tahoe's driver's side mirror: It happened while the SUV was parked outside the Wilson Building and Brown was inside "working hard for the people," says Brown. A DPW spokeswoman says her department paid for the repair, which cost $337.93.
On why Brown says the rented 2011 Chevy Tahoe, which was black on black, was not an acceptable long-term option: "Residents wanted to know why I was driving around in a truck with Maryland tags. That's when I said, 'I can no longer can ride in a vehicle with Maryland tags.'"
(One email obtained by LL, however, suggests otherwise. Brown didn't always have a problem with the Tahoe's Maryland license plates. "It seems that the new Chairman didn't have a problem concerning the tags at all," wrote one DPW employee shortly before Brown's Tahoe was delivered.)
On the reaction of Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, who concluded his investigation of Navigatorgate in April, to the newly released emails: Unhappiness. Wells tells LL that the new emails should have been handed over by DPW back when Wells' committee began investigating in February. In particular, Wells says DPW should have told him it rented Brown a Tahoe for two months.
Wells says he'll be reviewing whether anything was deliberately withheld from his committee. A DPW spokeswoman says the department is satisfied that it provided Wells everything it should have, but noted there were thousands and thousands of emails to look through. "We probably did the best job we could," says DPW spokeswoman Nancee Lyons.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery