City State: Morning Roundup

D.C. Council repeals iGaming; Opening statements expected in Huguely trial; D.C. fire official scrubs Twitter account of racism charges; Franchot: Gas tax hike ‘crushing’; D.C. mayor acknowledges missteps; Trump acquires Old Post Office Pavilion; Sharpton cuts video supporting Maryland gay marriage.

The D.C. Council took a major step Tuesday toward reconfiguring the city’s $38 million lottery contract when it voted to repeal an online gambling law once urged by its supporters as a pivotal revenue source for the city. Shortly before a 10-2 vote to kill the gambling initiative, known as iGaming, Mayor Vincent C. Gray said in a letter to the council that he would conditionally support a rebid of the entire contract if the council eventually revives iGaming, Tom Howell Jr. and Jeffrey Anderson of The Washington Times report.

Opening statements are expected Wednesday afternoon in the trial of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player accused of killing his ex-girlfriend. Jury selection this week yielded a full pool of 28 potential jurors in Charlottesville Circuit Court. They were expected to return Wednesday so that a jury can be seated for the case against George W. Huguely V. Mr. Huguely, of Chevy Chase, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and five other charges in the May 2010 death of 22-year-old Yeardley Love, a member of the women’s lacrosse team, according to the Associated Press.

Comments made by a senior D.C. fire department spokesman on his personal social media accounts that characterized protests against the city fire chief as racist disappeared shortly after the spokesman confirmed he was the author. Posts by D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Lon Walls on Twitter and Facebook were taken down Monday night after Mr. Walls spoke to The Washington Times about the nature of the comments. Mr. Walls said Monday that the posts reflected his personal opinions. The comments were posted after more than 100 firefighters walked out on a Jan. 24 address by Chief Kenneth Ellerbe at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, reports Andrea Noble of The Times.

Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot blasted Gov. Martin O’Malley on Tuesday for pushing a gas-tax increase that the comptroller said would deliver a “crushing blow” to families and small businesses. Mr. Franchot, a Democrat, made his comments during a briefing he called to explain the potential effect of the tax increase. He was joined by representatives of the oil and auto industries, who also were harshly critical of the governor. Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, said last week he would support phasing in the state’s 6 percent sales tax on gas, a plan he says will help pay for needed road and transit improvements, reports David Hill of The Times.

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Tuesday acknowledged the missteps of his administration and pledged to regain his footing after a scandal-plagued first year in office that featured hiring errors and allegations of nepotism and campaign payoffs. “I understand why people were disappointed, and I take full responsibility for those mistakes,” Mr. Gray, a Democrat, said in his State of the District address at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Northwest Washington, The Times reports.

Donald J. Trump is getting a Pennsylvania Avenue address in Washington — it just won’t be 1600. The federal government announced Tuesday that the New York real estate magnate’s hotel company has been selected to turn Washington’s Old Post Office Pavilion into a luxury getaway, according to The Washington Post.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, an MSNBC commentator, cut a Web video supporting same-sex-marriage legislation in Maryland and hosted Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, on his cable show Tuesday evening to talk about the issue. Mr. Sharpton says in his video: “As a Baptist minister, I don’t have the right to impose my views on anyone else.” He added, “If committed gay and lesbian couples want to marry, that is their business, none of us should stand in their way,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

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