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D.C. Council Chairman Seeks To Return 'Fully-Loaded' SUV

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Several weeks after Kwame R. Brown was elected D.C. Council chairman in November, city officials were asked to order for him a "fully loaded" Lincoln Navigator L.
Flickr: Chad Horwedel
Several weeks after Kwame R. Brown was elected D.C. Council chairman in November, city officials were asked to order for him a "fully loaded" Lincoln Navigator L.

Brown is facing mounting criticism after reports revealed his fully-loaded Lincoln Navigator is costing the cash-strapped city nearly $2,000 a month.

Brown's spokeswoman Traci Hughes says the chairman wants to return the car, but will not make a decision until it's clear how much it will cost to terminate the lease.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post detailed how Brown's staff insisted on the "suped-up" Navigator and also revealed the city is paying for two leases because the first SUV didn't have the right color interior that Brown wanted.

And with the city facing an estimated $500 million budget deficit, Brown's expensive ride earned the new chairman a wave of bad press.

D.C. Council Member Tommy Wells says he has sent a letter to Department of Public Works head Bill Howland, asking for copies of all the leases of vehicles used by D.C.'s top government officials, including the schools chancellor, some of the department heads, and the council chairman.

Brown's office released a statement Tuesday, saying he apologizes for what happened and says the vehicles have been turned over to D.C. Department of Public Works. Brown adds he intends to reimburse the city for his share, once the leases have been renegotiated by the attorney general.

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