Loose Lips Daily: Careful What You Wish For Edition
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! The deer by LL's house seem more annoyed than frightened when LL's dog chases them. Stuck up deer. News time:
Careful What You Wish For Edition: The District government has dropped the hammer on about 90 city employees who have allegedly been taking in both a paycheck and unemployment, the Post was first to report. Said employees were suspended Monday and now face the prospect of losing their jobs (in which case they actually will be eligible for unemployment) and facing prosecution. About 40 more former city employees are accused of the same, not very elegant scheme. "'By holding people accountable, that sends a clear message we’re not tolerating this behavior,'” said Lisa Mallory, director of the D.C. Department of Employment Services, which administers the jobless benefits program." Mallory said the some employees improperly received more than $20,000 while for others it was a few hundred bucks. Food for thought: if city employees get caught stealing a few hundred in unemployment pay, they rightfully get in trouble. But if upper level employees improperly received a full pension and a full salary and don't tell anyone about it, they get raises. Guess you gotta pick the right double dip.
AFTER THE JUMP: Scales of Justice; Goodbye Lotto Contract?; Gray v. Brown...
Scales of Justice: Speaking of potentially unequal punishments, Abdul Kamus, a key figure in the cash cab investigation that brought down Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham's former chief of staff Ted Loza, was sentenced to a year in prison, the AP reports. Court records show that Kamus was the point person for the Ethiopian cab interests who wanted to carve out a giant slice of the D.C. taxi industry and wanted the District, specifically Graham, to help. After the feds popped him, Kamus cooperated and helped get Loza on tape taking cash. Kamus also helped set up meetings between an undercover FBI agent named "Pete" and Graham and Loza, court records show. That Kamus is getting a year in prison while Loza, who had a position of public trust, got off with only eight* months, seems a bit unfair, if you ask LL.
Goodbye Lotto Contract?: Twitter is reporting this morning that 1) Councilmembers Michael Brown and David Catania got into a heated argument at the council breakfast and 2) the council may repeal the entire lottery contract. If that's true, then LL assumes we're in for another round of frantic lobbying by the city's politically plugged-in looking to make a killing as the lottery's local partner. Oh boy.
Gray v. Brown: The Post reports that the once rosy relationship between Mayor Vince Gray and Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown "appeared to reach a new low" yesterday. What's at issue? The same thing that ruins every happy marriage: money. Brown says the Gray administration, with CFO Nat Gandhi's help, hid $42 million from the council. "It’s a slap in the face to this legislative body," says Brown. Gray's budget man Eric Goulet it's nothing of the sort, just a "simple drafting error."
In Other News:
Gray sked: State of the District speech, 7 p.m., Sixth and I Historic Synagogue
Council sked: Legislative meeting at 10 a.m.
*This post updated Loza's sentencing. He was sentenced to eight months, not four.