- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The preliminary results of an investigation into D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s hiring practices will be released Aug. 24, says council member Mary Cheh. Mrs. Cheh, who led the investigations when she was chairman of the Committee on Government Operations, said it is appropriate to issue a report “on what is known now,” rather than wait for a resolution to legal matters involving Sulaimon Brown, a key witness who raised the most dramatic allegations against Mr. Gray and his team, reports Tom Howell Jr. of The Washington Times.

A police commander who publicly clashed with Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier in June over the department’s practice of providing police escorts for celebrities has been relieved of his command duties. Former Cmdr. Hilton Burton, a 20-year veteran who oversaw the department’s Special Operations Division, said he returned to work Monday from a two-week vacation to be demoted to the rank of captain and assigned to the department’s medical services branch, according to The Washington Times.

Dick Black, a staunchly conservative former Virginia state delegate who notably irked colleagues in 2003 by passing out plastic fetuses before a crucial abortion vote, has moved — again — to run in the Aug. 23 Republican primary race for an open Virginia Senate seat in Prince William and Loudoun counties, reports David Sherfinski of The Washington Times.

A proposal for a Muslim mosque that was denied three years ago by the Henrico County Board of Supervisors met a different fate Tuesday. The supervisors vote unanimously to rezone a 3.6-acre property, the final hurdle to clear for Muslim investors who want to build a mosque on the site, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The county is southeast of Richmond.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is not among the Democratic senators appointed to the so-called “supercommittee” charged with finding more than $1 trillion in deficit cuts this fall, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid named Sens. Patty Murray of Washington, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Max Baucus of Montana. Mr. Reid passed over Mr. Warner and the two other Democrats on the Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of Six,” which last month outlined a plan to cut the nation’s debt by $3.7 trillion over 10 years.

Maryland state Sen. Allan H. Kittleman has spent seven years honing his reputation as a fiscal conservative and Republican leader in the General Assembly, but he made waves this year by standing apart from party colleagues on one of the state’s most controversial social issues — same-sex marriage. The Howard Republican was the only one of 55 Republican state legislators who spoke out in favor of a gay-marriage bill that passed the Senate but died in the House because of seemingly unanimous Republican opposition and resistance from nearly one-third of Democrats, writes David Hill of The Washington Times.

The D.C. Council’s effort to impose a “jock tax” on out-of-town professional athletes who play games in the District may have been flagged for a false start. The council introduced a resolution in April to collect taxes from professional athletes who earn money in the District but do not live in the city — a common practice across the country. But city hall needed a tip-in from D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton on Capitol Hill to amend the District’s tax code within its home rule charter. Mrs. Norton introduced a bill May 25, yet it garnered no co-sponsors and has been sitting in a House subcommittee since June 20, writes Tom Howell of The Times.

An American Airlines flight from Miami to Washington was diverted to Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday after it encountered turbulence, authorities said. Flight 734, a Boeing 737, carried 152 passengers and a crew of six, according to the airline. Three passengers and two crew members were taken to hospitals, said American spokeswoman Dori Alvarez. A spokeswoman at one of the hospitals said Tuesday night that all three seen there were released “with less than minor injuries.” A second plane was sent to Charleston to bring the passengers to Reagan National Airport, Ms. Alvarez said, according to The Washington Post.