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

An Outsider In Buenos Aires Goes Incognito, For Love Of Tango

Carolina de Robertis' new novel God of Tango centers on a 17-year-old widow, recently arrived from Italy with little besides a violin. It's Argentina, 1913 — and a magical new music fills the barrios.
NPR

Matt Stonie Downs 62 Hot Dogs For Coney Island Title

The new champion came in second last year in the annual contest put on by Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, besting eight-time champ Joey "Jaws" Chestnut by 2 dogs.
NPR

A Reopened Embassy In Havana Could Be A Boon For U.S. Businesses

When the U.S. reopens its embassy in Havana, it will increase its staff. That should mean more help for American businesses hoping to gain a foothold on the Communist island.
NPR

Pilot In Solar-Powered Plane Sets Aviation Record

André Borschberg, flying Solar Impulse 2, set a new record of 120 hours in the cockpit on a journey from Japan to Hawaii.

Leave a Comment

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