- Associated Press - Monday, February 28, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — City officials broke the law by providing D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown a fully loaded Lincoln Navigator SUV, according to a review by D.C. Council member Tommy Wells that was released Monday.

The preliminary investigation found Mr. Brown “inappropriately requested” the luxury SUV. The report said it’s against city law to lease or purchase a staff vehicle with gas mileage of under 22 miles per gallon unless it’s for security purposes.

Mr. Wells, who leads the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, is calling for further investigation and a hearing on March 17. He said it appears the law is routinely violated.

A newspaper report revealed Mr. Brown requested a specific SUV. His staff rejected one Lincoln Navigator because it didn’t have the interior Mr. Brown wanted. Now, the city is paying for two leases.

Mr. Brown has said he’s returning the SUV after he learned it was costing the city nearly $2,000 a month.

On Monday, he issued a statement thanking Mr. Wells for his work and said he agrees the city’s procurement process needs “a top-to-bottom review.”