Ever wondered what the FBI unearthed on the tapes they secretly recorded of Ted G. Loza, who was D.C. Council member Jim Graham's chief staff until he was arrested last fall, and Abdulaziz Kamus, an advocate for Ethiopian cabdrivers who was trying to secure advantages for that community in the city's taxicab market?
In a superseding indictment filed Thursday, Loza was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, an additional count of bribery, a count of extortion and a count of making false statements. The charges are in addition to the two bribery charges that were brought in September against Loza, who worked for Graham (D) for more than a decade.
The superseding indictment contains several transcripts of secretly recorded conversations between Loza and Kamus, who was also indicted last fall for attempting to bribe Leon Swain Jr., chairman of the D.C. Taxi Commission, with $200,000.
In the following conversation, recorded June 19, 2009, Loza is accused of accepting an envelope stuffed with $1,000 cash as he talks about an effort by Graham to secure changes to the city's taxicab policy. In the following transcript, Graham is Public Official No. 1.
Kamus: Yeah, regarding, uh, the, you know --I'm working
with the taxicab small owners regarding the bill --the,
the legislation with the hybrid cars.
Kamus: And [the FBI undercover agent] was really pushing,
and he was helping us with some fund raising. And,
uh, he say [sic] that he has a lot of money to invest in
Kamus: Uh, and, uh, really we need help a lot. The
legislation is almost --
Kamus: How long, how many months left now? About two
months left -- one month left for, uh, for the
legislation to be introduced?
LOZA: [Public Official No. 1], what did [Public Official No.
1] say? The beginning of the next, uh, council
LOZA: Cause we go on break on Jan [sic], on July fifteenth.
Kamus: OK, there's no way --
LOZA: And then we don't come back until September the
Kamus: -- OK, there's no way he can [inaudible]?
LOZA: Move what?
Kamus: Like on an emergency basis?
LOZA: I don't know. I would have to speak to [Public
Official No. 1]. I know that, I thought you'd been
talking to [Staffer No. 1], no?
Kamus: Yeah, [Staffer No. 1], that's why I called. When I
called [Staffer No. 1], he's, he was on vacation.
LOZA: He is?
Kamus: His vacation. That's why I find out from you what's
* * *
Kamus: Well, really, I, I, I wanted to buy something for you
for Father's Day, like a tie or something.
Kamus: You know, [inaudible].
LOZA: Don't worry about a thing man. You know, it's just
Kamus: I have something; I have something for you.
LOZA: I'm, I'm just happy to see you all the time.
Kamus: Yeah, I know. It's for you. [Kamus handed an
envelope containing $1,000 in cash to LOZA.]
LOZA: What is this? Is this from [the FBI undercover
Kamus: Yeah, [the FBI undercover agent] from me, yeah,
LOZA: From both of you?
Kamus: From both of us, yeah.
LOZA: Do I just take it, or --
LOZA: What is this for, though? Just a gift? A Father's
Kamus: Yes, sir.
LOZA: What do you want me to do? What do you want
me, I'll talk to [Public Official No. 1]. And I can
call you back later on --
LOZA: -- if you want --
LOZA: -- you know. But what, uh, what, according to the
last meeting, based on the last meeting that you
had, what happened? With [Public Official No. 1],
not with [Staffer No. 1].
Kamus: Uh, [Public Official No. 1] was suggesting --
LOZA: Cause I remember that, I remember I was not at
Kamus: Yeah, I know but [Public Official No. 1] suggested
to talk to [Staffer No. 1], yeah.
You can read the complete indictment here (), including further transcripts.
-- Tim Craig