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Council Member Calls For Investigation Of City-Leased Vehicles

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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.
Patrick Madden
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.

D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown says he has returned the "fully-loaded" luxury SUV that was leased by the city.

Brown also apologized and says he'll reimburse the city for his share of lease, but the controversy has prompted one council member to call for a closer look at city-leased vehicles.

Council Member Tommy Wells says he's asked the head of Public Works, which oversees the city's fleet of vehicles, for copies of all the leases of vehicles that are being used by senior government officials.

"Certainly I believe the mayor needs a car, but I think every other usage needs to be looked at, whether it be the city admin. or the council chair or the head of schools," Wells says. "Let's look at who has cars, how much it costs. These are austere times."

Since reports earlier this week came out showing that Brown had not one, but two city-leased Lincoln Navigators, each costing $2,000 a month, Brown and his staff scrambled to return the vehicles.

Late Tuesday they announced the SUVs were back with the Department of Public Works, but the city is still on the hook for one of the vehicles, and Brown says the attorney general will try and renegotiate the lease.

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