The Metropolitan Police Department is waging war — not against criminals or illegal drugs, but rather AAA Mid-Atlantic.
John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for the group, apparently ruffled some feathers when he told WTOP radio in a Nov. 16 report that the District led the nation in fatal hit-and-run accidents over the last decade. A table that accompanies the story on WTOP.com illustrates the conclusions. Nevertheless, MPD promptly issued a press release purporting to counter the report.
“Mr. Townsend obviously did not check his facts,” a Nov. 17 press release states. “Just this year the MPD received an award from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association for huge decreases in our overall traffic fatality rates to include the second-largest drop nationally in impaired driving fatalities with a decrease of almost 40 percent.”
But the police department wasn’t finished.
AAA last week pointed out that MPD was (yet again) expanding its network of traffic cameras, which AAA has long decried as a revenue-generating scheme. Chief Cathy L. Lanier issued a statement, saying she found the criticism “astounding” because the District “is a leader in the nation in reducing traffic deaths.”
Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced two new staff members without a hitch last Monday, a welcome relief for his administration after a series of personnel missteps this year.
Maybe they were extra careful this time. Or, if you take Mr. Gray at his word even when he’s kidding around, they got a little bit of help.
Mr. Gray introduced Capitol Hill veteran Pedro Ribeiro as his new chief spokesman and Sheila Bunn, a longtime staffer for House Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, as his deputy chief of staff. His last pick for the deputy position didn’t last too long, after D.C. watchdog Dorothy Brizill revealed the mayor’s pick had voted in D.C. election while living in Maryland.
“No, I asked Ms. Brizill,” Mr. Gray quipped.
The jocularity didn’t end there. When the mayor asked the media to focus on his achievements instead of dwelling on his team’s mistakes, veteran NBC Washington reporter Tom Sherwood had a quick retort from the back of the briefing room: “When has the media ever done that?”
Jelly-of-the-month club?View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Matthew Cella is The Washington Times’ Metro editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.
By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
An establishmentarian conservative, short on cash, but long on wisdom.
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention