Which Former Councilmember Improperly Got Out of a Ticket?
It's a Thanksgiving mystery: An unnamed former D.C. councilmember managed to make a traffic ticket disappear even after the Department of Motor Vehicles had already denied his request to have the ticket dismissed, according to a new audit released by the city's inspector general.
In January 2011, the councilmember had his chief of staff send a request to the head of the DMV asking that 10 traffic tickets given to the councilmember be dismissed because councilmembers are exempt from the city's parking laws. The DMV dismissed six of the 10 tickets, which apparently were parking tickets, but not the remaining four: two speeding tickets, one red-light ticket, and one "failure to report to inspection."
But in May 2011, the Department of Public Works asked the DMV to void 135 tickets, which the DMV did. Included in that request was the former councilmember's "failure to report to inspection" ticket, which is a $50 fine.
The IG report only identifies the elected official as "the then-councilmember." There are three individuals who were councilmembers during the dates listed who are no longer on the council: Harry Thomas Jr., Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown, and Sekou Biddle.
Thomas and Brown's lawyer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Biddle says it "definitely" wasn't him. The IG apparently did not inquire with DPW as to why it was trying to get a councilmember's ticket voided. But the IG did recommend the DMV tighten up its procedures for voiding tickets that the DMV has already adjudicated, citing a "risk that the process could be abused."