Cost to Break Navigator Lease: $12,450.23
Anybody remember that whole fracas involving Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown and his Lincoln Navigators? Well, LL realized the other day that we never found out what the final tally was for how much the chairman's brief flirtation with luxury SUVs was going to cost.
The details, in case you've forgotten: Brown wants a Navigator like the mayor's, turns down the first one he was offered because it had a gray interior, drives the second one (leased at nearly $2,000 a month) for a month and a half until public outcry forces him return it.
Brown said in February after returning the second Navigator that he was going to reimburse the city for "his share of the use of the vehicle once the attorney general renegotiates the lease agreement."
Turns out the District settled with the leasing company back in April, as you can see in the contract LL obtained and posted below. The cost to break the lease: a hefty $12,450.23.
The settlement also makes mention of "sums previous paid," which presumably are the $1,963.28 monthly lease payments made prior to the settlement. According to the Chief Financial Officer's office, the District made one monthly lease payment in February.
Throw in the $1,600 expedited fee the city paid to have the Navigator here for Brown's inauguration and the second Navigator cost the city $16,013.51.* LL's reached out to Brown's staff to see if he's paid any of that cost and will update if he hears back. Other city officials say they haven't heard of any payment.
As for the first Navigator, the one with the gray interior that Brown rejected, it could cost the city about $5,200.
The District prepaid $17,600 to the first Navigator's leasing company last year. (That wasn't supposed to happen under city contracting rules.) After the lease was terminated in February, a District review determined that the leasing company should reimburse the city $12,383. The leasing company has several months left to appeal that determination.
If the leasing company does decide to reimburse the city that amount, then the total cost of both Navigators will be near the $20,000 mark.**
You'll remember that Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans made a big stink about Brown repaying the entire cost of Navigatorgate back in March. "Whatever cost the city incurs must be paid by Kwame Brown and not the taxpayers," said Evans. Wonder if he still feels that way.
*, **This post has been updated.
Photo by Alan Suderman