Morning Roundup: Sept. 21

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The D.C. Council approved an income-tax increase on the city’s highest earners Tuesday, after a proposal dismissed in the spring was revived during closed-door negotiations and hotly debated by council members returning from summer recess, according to The Washington Times.

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is scheduled today to announce his nominees to the city’s Board of Elections and Ethics. The Gray administration and the D.C. Council have been plagued by scandal since January, and lawmakers now appear to be attempting to outdo one another in proposing reform. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown already has said ethnics reform will be a top priority now that lawmakers have returned from summer recess, The Washington Times reports.

Two Prince George’s County police officers involved in the beating of a University of Maryland student participating in a street celebration for the men’s basketball team have been indicted, a year and a half after the incident was caught on video tape, The Washington Times reports.

Derrick Leon Davis is the unofficial winner of Prince George’s County’s Democratic special primary for the County Council seat of former member Leslie E. Johnson. With 55 percent of the 6,453 votes counted Tuesday night, Mr. Davis appeared to have defeated 13 other Democrats to advance to next month’s general election. Republican Day Gardner ran unopposed. Johnson resigned from her seat in July after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges, according to The Washington Times.

A Maryland delegate is lashing out at Gov. Martin O’Malley for calling many Republicans “immigrant bashers” whose attitudes toward illegal immigrants are motivated by “thinly veiled racism.” Delegate Patrick L. McDonough, Baltimore County Republican, said Tuesday that he wants an apology from the governor, who last week blasted Republicans for criticizing GOP presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2001 signing of his state’s Dream Act — a bill that allows some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition, The Washington Times reports.

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II wants to expand the scope of the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit so members can be deputized to serve subpoenas, carry a weapon and wear a badge. “We’ve got people who are going out, doing stakeouts, executing warrants, doing all these kinds of things,” he said. “Over half of our investigators are ex-law enforcement, sworn law enforcement anyway.” Mr. Cuccinelli’s push comes at a critical time, as Washington lawmakers try to trim the federal budget in part by reducing fraud and waste in the federal-state medical assistance programs, reports David Sherfinski of The Washington Times.

Former New York Mayor and one-time presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani has endorsed former Virginia Gov. George Allen in his bid to win the U.S. Senate seat he once held. “These are difficult times for hard-working men and women across our nation, and we need people in Washington that know how to get things done,” Mr. Giuliani said in a Tuesday announcement, according to The Washington Post.

The death of D.C. resident Gaurav Gopalan, who was found dead in Columbia Heights on Sept. 10, has been ruled a homicide by the D.C. Office of the Medical Examiner. Officials said Gopalan died from a blow to the head. Gopalan’s body was found by a passerby early on a Saturday morning in the 2600 block of 11th Street Northwest with no significant visible trauma. Although he lived a few blocks away on 13th Street Northwest, he remained unidentified for three days. Gopalan, 35, was an aeronautical engineer who had been active in local theater, The Washington Post reports.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett say a pool of 75 potential jurors will be called Monday for the federal corruption case against state Sen. Ulysses Currie, the Prince George’s County lawmaker accused of wielding his power to benefit a grocery chain. Twelve jurors and four alternates will be selected from that group. No candidates for the jury were present, the attorneys on both sides made their recommendations based on results from questionnaires. Lawyers were not given the names of the possible jurors, only a number for each, preventing them from using Google or social media such as Facebook to research their background, according to the Baltimore Sun.

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