D.C. Council Scrutinizes 'Fully-Loaded' SUVs | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

D.C. Council Scrutinizes 'Fully-Loaded' SUVs

Play associated audio
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.

There was uproar earlier this year when it was reported the city council chairman had leased not one, but two expensive, "fully-loaded" Lincoln Navigators.

Bill Howland, the head of the city's Department of Public Works, testified Thursday before the city council that he should have questioned some of the luxury options requested: the entertainment system, the aluminum wheels, etc.

But Howland defended giving Council Chairman Kwame Brown an SUV, even though the law says those vehicles should only be leased for security reasons or other special circumstances.

"In the event that the mayor becomes incapacitated, that he is the second leading official, he would become the mayor. If necessary, he would need an emergency vehicle, I made the determination that an SUV was warranted," says Howland.

Howland also says the two Navigators have been returned. But it's unclear how much it's going to cost to break the leases.

D.C. has paid one leasing company $17,000, and that company is refusing to give any money back.

And the other one has filed for $12,000 in damages against the city for breaking the lease.

A spokesperson for Brown says the chairman will pay for one month's use of Navigator he was driving.

CORRECTION: This story originally stated that Bill Howland testified before the council today. He testified Thursday.

NPR

From Sizzling Fajitas To The Super Bowl, How Sounds Help Sell

Joel Beckerman is a composer who specializes in sonic branding. His new book is called The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy.
NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Primanti Bros. Pitts-burger

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a sandwich from the famous Primanti Bros. of Pittsburgh.
NPR

Close Iowa Senate Race Could Come Down To How Women Vote

Joni Ernst, who's an officer in the Iowa Army National Guard, presents herself as a mother, soldier, leader. But many women aren't responding to that.
NPR

Tunisia's Emerging Tech Sector Hampered By Old Policies

When Tunisia's young people protested in 2011, they had one key demand: jobs. Now, despite new political leadership, that demand remains unmet — even in tech, the sector that offers the most promise.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.