Not pictured: Federal agents searching Ted Loza's home
The lead story across the blogosphere is the arrest of Jim Graham's chief of staff, Ted Loza. I live in Ward 1, and I tell you if someone doesn't challenge Graham in the Democratic primary, I'll be upset. Every news outlet has information on this story, the gist of it being that Loza was paid by unknown people in the taxi industry to get taxicab legislation passed. This would be the taxicab legislation Graham introduced regarding medallions and hybrid cabs. Graham claims that Loza had no impact whatsoever on the taxi legislation, and in fact that they hardly discussed the matter. Somehow I find it very unlikely that Graham didn't have discussions with Loza about an important piece of legislation. Loza is Graham's top aide, who earns a salary of $93,286. Loza's wife, Ligia X. Munoz, works for FiestaDC, a group funded until FY2010 by DC Council earmarks. In the last two years, FiestaDC has received $300,000 in District funds. Also possibly of interest, Loza is not a U.S. citizen. Does anyone else find it completely ridiculous and outrageous that Loza makes nearly $100,000 for a job that apparently doesn't even involve discussing legislation? By the way, he is on "paid administrative leave" pending trial. One Loza salary could have saved WEAVE... just saying.
MPD investigating body found under pier, would be the District's 100th homicide. As of this morning the homicide count was still at 99, though police have not made a determination about the body found in Southwest. The body of a woman in her 40's was found near the Capital Yacht Club yesterday morning. Maybe they will wait until after January 1, 2010 to declare this a homicide.
Metro fires bus driver involved in crash. Metro has fired Carla Proctor, the operator of the out-of-service bus that struck Amanda Mahnke on September 3. The Dupont Circle incident was Proctor's third on-the-job crash. Metro says Proctor was fired for failing to follow standard operating procedures. The Mahnke family is seeking witnesses, likely for a lawsuit. Police have not yet filed charges in the incident. This seems to be confirmation by Metro that Proctor was at fault.
Speaking of Metro, they locked some people in the Van Dorn station last night. NBC4 reports a group of people were locked inside the Van Dorn Street station last night. Reportedly they were left there for 45 minutes before the gates were unlocked. Not a lot of information on this currently, perhaps Metro will have a comment later this morning. All I have to say is this would be evidence of an incredible safety and security problem. If station managers do not sweep the station before locking it up, imagine the damage someone with some tools or bombs could do with a station all to themselves.
Happy Friday, everyone. Coming up soon, the first few installments of the to-be-named feature. The redesign of the Arena Stage is first up, and hopefully an inside look at H Street NE will soon follow. Is it the next U Street? Is it too hyped? Is it the next Clarendon (unlikely)? Love it or hate it, I'll spend some time digging up the nitty gritty. Also, a wrap-up to the whole ghost bike saga.