- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2000

The attorney for an 8-year-old boy accused last month of trying to carjack U.S. Rep. James P. Moran's vehicle outside a recreation center in Alexandria, Va., has asked the Alexandria commonwealth's attorney to investigate a city police official on obstruction of justice charges in the case.

Ted Williams, who is representing young Michael Green, said Thursday night he will send a letter Friday to Randy Sengel, requesting that his office look into allegations that a "high-ranking police official" tried to interfere in the investigation against Mr. Moran.

The boy's parents, Melanie Gaitwood and Alonzo Griffen, claim Mr. Moran, a Virginia Democrat, attacked Michael after the boy told the congressman he liked his car in the April 7 incident.

Several days later, they said they filed a complaint against Mr. Moran with the Alexandria magistrate.

Mr. Williams said when the police official learned the magistrate found there was a possibility that assault charges could be lodged against Mr. Moran, that official tried to persuade the city's chief judge to intervene on behalf of Mr. Moran. Mr. Williams said he does not know what the judge decided to do.

"We are very disturbed that an official with the city police department would try to interfere in the judicial process in this matter," Mr. Williams said. "We want a full and complete investigation into whether this official has attempted to obstruct justice by interfering in this investigation."

Mr. Williams declined to identify the police official.

The Alexandria magistrate has not issued any warrants in the case involving Michael and Mr. Moran.

The magistrate's office received the case against Michael nearly a week after city police say the boy tried to carjack Mr. Moran's vehicle outside Cora Kelly Recreation Center and threatened to shoot the congressman if he refused to hand over his keys.

Police said Thursday no charges have been filed in either case.

"No warrants have been issued," said Amy Bertsch, a city police spokeswoman, Thursday. "We've done as thorough of an investigation as we could without having any cooperation from the juvenile and his family. Beyond that, I don't see what else we can do."

The magistrate's office declined to comment on the two cases Thursday.

Meanwhile, Demaris Miller a Republican who hopes to unseat Mr. Moran in November filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission Wednesday, claiming the congressman violated election regulations with his personal use of a campaign car involved in the April 7 incident.

At the time of the incident, Mr. Moran was driving a 1999 black Toyota Avalon, leased by his campaign for $468 a month, to pick up his children from the center, Mrs. Miller states in her one-page complaint.

Mrs. Miller, who raised the issue a couple weeks ago, accused Mr. Moran of violating "the spirit and the letter of the FEC law."

"This may seem like a small abuse to some, but the fact of the matter is the FEC law prohibits the use of campaign funds for personal pleasure," Mrs. Miller said in her statement. "Jim Moran was clearly using the car in question to pick up his children from school on the day he alleges he was attacked by the 8-year-old boy."

A telephone call seeking comment on the complaint was not returned by Mr. Moran's office Thursday afternoon.

Under current FEC law, using campaign funds for "personal use" is prohibited. Automobile expenses are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Mrs. Miller ran against Mr. Moran in 1998 for his congressional seat but was soundly defeated. Mr. Moran, a former mayor of Alexandria, is serving his fifth term in Congress.

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