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Gray Unveils Picks For Public Safety Team

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Incoming mayor Vincent Gray says he wants D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, the city's first female police chief, to stay at her post.

Gray is also rolling out a number of other picks in the public safety field, including one nominee who is already facing some tough questions.

For fire chief, Gray has picked Nathan Ellerbee, a former deputy fire chief for the city. Ellerbee left last year to become a fire chief in Sarasota County, Florida.

Ellerbe was questioned at the news conference about a special deal he had to keep his D.C. pension while working in Florida. He was later asked why he received a D.C. Homestead Tax Credit for a house he owns in the District, while living in Florida. Ellerbe says he will no longer claim the deduction.

Meanwhile, Gray also unveiled Irvin Nathan as his choice for attorney general. Gray and current attorney general Peter Nickles routinely criticized each other. In praising Nathan's work as a general counsel to Congress, Gray also not-so-subtly criticized the outgoing attorney general.

"Mr. Nathan will join me in taking politics out of the position of the attorney general," Gray says. "Public safety decisions cannot be based on political motives that cloud the decisions of those in power to apply the law."

The selection to keep Lanier, who is considered to be one of D.C.s most popular figures, was not a surprise. Nevertheless, the head of the police union, Kris Baumann, says he was frustrated the mayor-elect didn't consult the union, which endorsed Gray during the primary, before making the pick.


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