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.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 30

You can keep things old school with a classic musical and an exhibit featuring watercolor paintings from the 1800s.
NPR

Farming The Bluefin Tuna, Tiger Of The Ocean, Is Not Without A Price

Scientists are trying to raise prized bluefin tuna completely in captivity. An experiment at a Baltimore college is the first successful attempt in North America.
NPR

Senate's Highway Trust Fund Bill Sets Up Conflict With The House

A short-term fix for the nearly empty Highway Trust Fund is a step closer to President Obama's desk. Congress has been talking about the long-term problems with the construction account, but the two chambers have not agreed on a long-term solution.
NPR

OkCupid Sometimes Messes A Bit With Love, In The Name Of Science

OkCupid, the online dating site, disclosed Monday that they sometimes manipulate their users' profiles for experiments.

Leave a Comment

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