TODAY IS JUNE 1, 2011 — DAY 151 OF THE GRAY ADMINISTRATION
My, my — lousy weekend for Chuck Brodsky. First, he resigns as chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board “under pressure from Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s office”; then, on Saturday, the longtime Adrian Fenty supporter is arrested for impersonating a cop. David Nakamura has the story for the Post: “Brodsky was parked in a no-parking zone in the 2400 block of 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan on Saturday night, according to the police report. When an officer approached to issue a ticket about 9:15 p.m., Brodsky was seen entering the vehicle to remove a red dash light and a D.C. police placard that read ‘POLICE OFFICIAL BUSINESS.’ Brodsky told the officer that he was given the light by the District government to use on official business as head of the alcohol board, the police report stated, then changed his story and said ‘a police friend gave it to him.’ Brodsky, who owns a sports and events management company, also allegedly said he was a police officer in Alexandria but later recanted. Brodsky was charged with false impersonation of a police officer and use of official insignia, both misdemeanors.” Brodsky explained to both Dave and WJLA-TV’s Mike Conneen that he is in fact a “Special Conservator of the Peace” in Virginia, which gives him limited police powers. But exactly what peace he was conservating in Adams Morgan remains unclear. Reports Conneen: “Brodsky declined to specify why he needs the Special Conservator of the Peace designation or how he uses it. However, he said it was something he was ‘interested in pursuing professionally and intellectually.’” More from Examiner, DCist.
ALERT — Due to power outages, the following D.C. government offices are closed today: 899 North Capitol Street NE (OSSE, DHCF, DOH), 810 1st St. NE (DISB), 801 North Capitol Street NE (CCDC), 1133 North Capitol Street NE (DCHA), 1200/1300 1st St. NE (DDOE, DCPS), 33 N St. NE (DHS), 70 N St. NE (DOH/APRA), 35 K St. NE (DMH). Also closed is J.O. Wilson Elementary School.
AFTER THE JUMP — Sulaimon Brown will testify — Gandhi has to answer for failed tax collections, Jonetta writes — down with “Jackmandering” — McKinley principal cleared — baseball academy breaks ground
*** MAIN COURSE ***
SULAIMON WILL SPEAK — The big show is set for Monday, when Sulaimon Brown at long last answer questions from the D.C. Council. From my Post report: “Brown ended his fight against a D.C. Council subpoena in Superior Court on Tuesday, after a council lawyer told Judge Judith N. Macaluso that a summons for his appearance in court was served on his fiancee Friday afternoon. Brown agreed to testify at a June 6 hearing — which would be the fifth day of testimony in an ongoing probe of Gray’s hiring practices — with the caveat that he had ‘been instructed by federal investigators not to speak about certain issues.’ ... [Mary Cheh said] she would not look fondly on Brown refusing to discuss certain matters based on the federal investigation. ‘That’s not a basis not to testify,’ Cheh said, adding that she’s heard ‘not a peep’ from federal agents asking her to limit the probe. ... Brown said it was “baffling” that the council would pursue questioning while the criminal probe was underway. ‘If it impedes their investigation, it’s not my fault,’ he said.” WAMU-FM’s Patrick Madden get to the heart of yesterday’s folly: “With his knack for showing up at press conferences and political events, and willingness to offer up interviews and sound bytes, it seemed for a while the only people in D.C. who couldn’t find Sulaimon Brown were the ones paid by the council to do so: the process servers trying to serve Brown with a subpoena.” More from WaTimes, City Paper, WTTG-TV, WTOP, WRC-TV, Examiner.
IS THIS ON NAT? — Responding to news that the Office of Tax and Revenue might have failed to collect many millions in deed recordation taxes over the past decade, Jonetta Rose Barras goes there in her Examiner column: “It’s deja vu all over again. Three years ago, the public learned [CFO Natwar Gandhi]’s lax management allowed a midlevel employee in the city’s Office of Tax and Revenue to embezzle $50 million. Ironically, during this same period, the CFO wasn’t collecting taxes as dictated by the law. So, on the one hand, Gandhi didn’t collect taxes. On the other hand, what he collected, he allowed to be stolen. Have mercy! ... The CFO’s folks have portrayed the lawyers [who have exposed the potential missed taxes] as hustlers out to score a contract. Truth be told, an independent audit could expose Gandhi’s incompetence and the city’s losses. ... It’s time for the feds. Council Chairman Kwame Brown should ask the Government Accountability Office to audit Gandhi’s entire operation. Then, as some legislators have suggested, the city should look for a CFO more adept at collecting and counting our beans.”
TAKE IT BACK, JACK — At GGW, David Alpert engages in a thorough deconstruction of the “Jackmandered” border between wards 2 and 6 in the proposed redistricting plan: “There’s only one explanation, and it’s an obvious one. Jack Evans represents Ward 2, and was the only ward-specific member on the 3-person committee. He clearly wanted these changes. ... Having a ward member on the redistricting committee is already a dicey proposition. Members justified it because Evans is the longest-serving member of the Council and has participated in two redistrictings. But it should have been obvious to [Michael Brown] and [Phil Mendelson] that they must avoid an appearance, let alone the reality, of letting Evans manipulate the decisions for his own gain. ... They should have kept Evans out of that part of it, and decided on the Ward 2 boundaries without giving him an extra voice. Instead, they apparently outsourced all decisions about the 2/6 boundary to Evans himself, oblivious or uncaring about the clear conflict of interest.” The public hearing on redistricting kicks off at 6 p.m. in the council chambers.
’CSI: FOURTH STREET’ — A Post editorial identifies a “troubling aspect” to legislation establishing a new forensic sciences department to run the new city crime lab: “Documents that an expert would use to assess the reliability and validity of work performed — such as lab notes, raw data and photos — would not be available to the defense as a matter of course. Instead, the lab would provide the documents to the government and the defense would have to convince the government to share the information or litigate whether the documents are ‘material’ to the preparation of the defense under criminal-discovery rules. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, which sought the change, says the current protocols and rules of discovery are sound and have been effective in making information available. ... The D.C. Public Defender Service rightly contends that a fundamental principle of scientific methodology is openness, which allows scientists access to the data needed to test the results and conclusions of another scientist’s work. Indeed, we can’t help but wonder whether the debacle that has surrounded the District’s use of faulty breathalyzer data in hundreds of drunk driving convictions might have been averted if the data had — as a matter of routine — been made available to defense attorneys.”
PRINCIPAL CLEARED OF GRADE ALLEGATIONS — The McKinley Tech principal accused of grade-doctoring has been cleared, Bill Turque reports in the Post: “Questions about David Pinder came to light in March when former school staff accused him of changing at least 13 senior transcripts in 2009 to give students credit for courses they did not take. ‘The investigations completed ... regarding McKinley High School do not substantiate a finding that Principal Pinder should be removed from his position,’ Lisa Ruda, chief of staff to Acting Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, said in an e-mail. ‘As such, we anticipate he will return to lead McKinley next school year.’ The application-only high school in Northeast Washington had been under a cloud this year after allegations of grade doctoring and the possible mishandling of a $100,000 award from AARP to fund a program for students to teach senior citizens about the Internet.” Prosecutors are still looking into the AARP grant.
MEET YOUR MEDICAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY — Tom Howell Jr. of The Washington Times tries to find out about the city’s potential marijuana entrepreneurs: “Tamina Pryor and Monique Watson created their new company’s name, Jahrock, by jumbling their children’s initials together and admiring the results. The executive assistants believe in holistic medicine. ... One potential grower, who asked not to be identified, said the ‘art of surprise’ in a competitive and highly regulated environment prevents him from discussing the matter. The marketing partner for another applicant, the Potomac Patients First Group, said he cannot comment, on the advice of attorneys. And one applicant responded to a list of questions with this: ‘How did you get my information?’”
BASEBALL ACADEMY BREAKS GROUND — Numerous dignitaries, Gray first among them, gathered to break ground on the new Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy. Meredith Somers covers for WaTimes: “The academy will be built on 9 acres inside [Fort Dupont Park] and include playing fields for youth baseball and softball games as well as a facility that will house multiple classrooms, batting cages and locker rooms. The project is funded by $10.2 million in construction money from the District, and $3.5 million from the Washington Nationals and its Dream Foundation. It was announced Tuesday that Major League Baseball would contribute an additional $1 million for construction. ... The academy program will be modeled after the Harlem RBI program in New York City, which in the past six years has helped more than 97 percent of its members graduate high school and sent 95 percent to college last year, according to the Nationals. ... Mr. Gray, a Democrat, said baseball ‘was arguably the best sport in the world’ and acknowledged that it was ‘heartbreaking to watch the decline of youth baseball over the years.’” More from MASN.
*** SMALL PLATES ***
The words that will get your e-mail bounced from dc.gov servers (City Desk)
Feds not warning D.C. about medical marijuana program — yet (DCist)
Rabbi presses class action against BOEE over election scheduling (Legal Times)
Council members grill new procurement chief about school security contract (WaTimes)
Michelle Rhee’s house runs through the PoP gauntlet (Prince of Petworth)
Local universities: We’re very important, so please don’t tax us (Housing Complex)
No laws till fall — thanks Congress! (DCist)
New in DCPS central office: “Central Office Effectiveness Division” (D.C. Schools Insider)
Boy, 15, shot dead in Shaw (Crime Scene)
Corey Moore beats the law again (Examiner)
D.C.: now with 3,700 more government jobs (WBJ)
Three minutes with budget maven Eric Goulet! (Examiner)
Glover Parkers want to shut J.P.’s strip club down (G’town Dish)
Toward an east-of-the-river bike trail network (GGW)
The Laffer curve, applied to District revenues (District Libertarian)
Eaton ES principal heads to central office (Examiner)
More on Blue Plains upgrades (Chesapeake Bay Journal)
”DC Minority Business Examiner” not surprised about Allen Lew audit (Examiner.com)
DDOT now has a “map-based project coordination ecosystem” (news release)
*** ON THE MENU ***
Gray holds news conference, 10 a.m. in JAWB G-9 — D.C. Council hearing on breathalyzer program and “Sex Offender Registration Amendment Act of 2011” (B19-255), 10 a.m. in JAWB 500; confirmation hearings for Office of Veterans Affairs Director Matthew J. Cary, 2 p.m. in JAWB 120; Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Director Neil A. Stanley, 3 p.m. in JAWB 120; public hearing on redistricting plan, 6 p.m. in JAWB 500 — Muriel Bowser, Harry Thomas Jr. and Tommy Wells appear on NewsTalk With Bruce DePuyt, 10 a.m. on NewsChannel 8