REGIONAL BRIEFING

Thursday, January 1, 2009

REGION

New Park Police Chief Is Named

The National Park Service has named veteran officer Sal Lauro as the chief of the U.S. Park Police, officials said yesterday.

Lauro, 55, joined the Park Police in 1978 and had assignments in New York and Washington, including overseeing the agency's planning for two inaugurations, before leaving in 2004 to work for the secretary of the interior's law enforcement office.

Lauro returned to the Park Police nine months ago as acting assistant chief, following after the removal of Chief Dwight E. Pettiford, a move that came after an Interior Department inspector -general's report assailed the agency for failing to protect icons such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

The Park Police have more than 600 officers who provide security at National Park Service sites in the District, New York and San Francisco.

-- Mary Beth Sheridan

THE DISTRICT

GOP Election Challenge Rejected

The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled yesterday against the D.C. Republican Party's bid to challenge the Board of Elections and Ethics certification of Michael Brown's November win as an independent at-large member of the D.C. Council.

The bid was reviewed by the appeal court's senior judge, Frank Q. Nebeker, and two associate judges, Vanessa Ruiz and Michael W. Farrell. The judges wrote that they reject the challenge made by Robert J. Kabel and the Republican Committee that Brown remained a Democrat and claimed independent status to seek office.

The judges wrote in their five-page ruling that Brown's "late conversion" in becoming an independent was not a matter for the courts to decide. The judges said that because the Board of Elections "reasonably concluded that Mr. Brown's election did not contravene the at-large limitation, its decision to certify his election is affirmed."

-- Keith L. Alexander

Fenty Appoints 4 Administrators

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) announced yesterday the appointments of four D.C. agency and office directors. The appointments include a reshuffling of staff members and the hiring of a businessman who has had extensive contact with the administration.

Gabe Klein, a co-founder of the boutique food service On the Fly and a former executive with Zipcar, was named head of the D.C. Department of Transportation. Lee A. Smith III, formerly the director of administration and government affairs for the Washington Convention Center Authority, was made director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development. Bridget Davis is the new director of the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Tracy Sandler is the director of the Office of Boards and Commissions.

Davis most recently served as the director of the Office of Boards and Commissions. Sandler was a special assistant in the Office of the Chief of Staff.

-- Marcia Davis

Arrest Made in 2006 Slaying

A Northeast Washington man was arrested Monday night and charged in a 2006 fatal shooting in the city, police said.

Andre Denan Sanders, 41, was arrested about 10 p.m. by members of the Capital Area Joint Fugitive Task Force. Authorities said he was charged with second-degree murder in the Dec. 4, 2006, slaying of Jamel Raheem Wilder, 27, who was shot several times in the 600 block of Park Road NW, in the Petworth area.

-- Paul Duggan

Ammo in Car Near White House

A Delaware man was arrested last night after he drove up to a security gate near the White House with shotgun shells on the front seat of his vehicle, authorities said.

Andrew Martin, 20, was charged with possession of unregistered ammunition and driving an unregistered vehicle, said Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service. At 6:12 p.m., Martin drove a red Mini Cooper toward the security gate at Madison Drive and H Street NW and officers spotted suspicious items, Donovan said. A K-9 unit and hazardous material squads were called to the scene.

A weapon was not found in the vehicle, Donovan said.

-- Elissa Silverman

MARYLAND

Energy-Saving Measures in Place

The Maryland Public Service Commission issued orders yesterday putting into effect energy conservation plans submitted by five major utilities. The plans were required under a law backed by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

The commission said the plans will offer consumers energy audits, rebates and other measures designed to reduce per-capita consumption of energy by nearly 5 percent by 2011, when rolling blackouts have been forecast in the state.

"Although there is much work ahead, the programs we approved today go a long way toward achieving our state's ambitious but critical energy-efficiency goals," PSC Chairman Doug Nazarian said. Some programs are ready to go, but others will require refinement, he said.

In a statement, O'Malley praised the commission's action as "an important step" in meeting his long-range target of reducing energy consumption 15 percent by 2015.

The orders issued yesterday affect Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., Pepco, Delmarva Power and Light, Allegheny Power and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.

-- John Wagner

Man Fatally Shot in Langley Park

A man was killed yesterday afternoon in Langley Park in a shooting that might have been gang-related, said Officer Evan Baxter, a Prince George's County police spokesman.

An arrest was made shortly after the 2:30 p.m. shooting in the 1200 block of Lebanon Street, Baxter said. Police did not identify the victim or the suspect.

-- Aaron C. Davis

Two Pedestrians Struck, Killed

Two pedestrians were struck by vehicles and killed last night in Prince George's County in separate accidents, authorities said.

In both cases, the drivers of the vehicles remained on the scene, said Cpl. Mike Rodriguez, a police spokesman. About 6:23 p.m., a 40-year-old man was struck near the intersection of Landover and Brightseat roads in the Landover area. Four minutes later, an unidentified man was hit in a shopping center parking lot in the 2900 block of Donnell Drive in the Forestville area, police said.

-- Elissa Silverman

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