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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

** FILE ** Natwar M. Gandhi (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Gandhi to be appointed for 5 more years as D.C. CFO

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is poised to appoint the city's chief financial officer, Natwar M. Gandhi, to another five-year term as soon as Friday, according to multiple city hall sources familiar with the situation. Published June 14, 2012

Interim D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson makes his way to his new office in the John A. Wilson Building in Washington after being elected on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, to temporarily fill the seat vacated by former council Chairman Kwame R. Brown. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Mendelson becomes interim D.C. Council chair

The D.C. Council chose veteran lawmaker Phil Mendelson on Wednesday to lead it as chairman until a Nov. 6 election to replace Kwame R. Brown in the wake of his resignation and guilty plea to fraud and campaign-finance charges. Published June 13, 2012

**FILE** In 1998, voters in the District approved the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative. (The Washington Times)

D.C. health department picks medical marijuana dispensaries

The D.C. Department of Health on Tuesday notified four applicants to the city's burgeoning medical marijuana program they are eligible to open a dispensary at their desired locations, one of the final steps necessary to begin the District's long-awaited effort to aid the sick and dying. Published June 12, 2012

D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (The Washington Times)

D.C. Council poised to approve Mendelson as chairman

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh circulated a resolution on Tuesday that would make veteran city lawmaker Phil Mendelson the acting council chairman until city voters select a replacement this November for Kwame R. Brown, who abruptly resigned as chairman last week and admitted fraud and campaign finances charges. Published June 12, 2012

Nov. 6 special election allows D.C. to save money

The D.C. Board of Elections made the thrifty decision Monday to let voters select a replacement for disgraced former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown on Nov. 6 - the same day voters cast their ballot for president and multiple council races. Published June 11, 2012

Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (left) enters the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse for his plea hearing in Washington, D.C., Friday, June 8, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

Former D.C. Council chairman pleads guilty to bank fraud

Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown softly uttered the word "guilty" in separate courthouses Friday and tearfully apologized to the District for committing bank fraud and authorizing unlawful campaign payments — admissions that contrasted with his defiant reminder that he never stole public funds. Published June 8, 2012

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown leaves his office at the Wilson Building. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Former D.C. Council chairman Brown faces new charge

Federal prosecutors accused former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown on Thursday of violating the city's campaign finance laws by allowing a relative to set up a "side account" for his 2008 re-election campaign as an at-large member of the council. Published June 7, 2012

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown leaves his office at the John A. Wilson Building after being charged Wednesday in federal court with one felony count of bank fraud. He resigned hours later. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Brown resigns as D.C. Council chairman

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown resigned Wednesday after federal prosecutors accused him of lying on a loan application — a historic blow to a city government that has suffered unprecedented legal woes and eroded the public's trust. Published June 6, 2012

D.C Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Criminal charges filed against D.C. Council chairman

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown was charged Wednesday with one count of bank fraud for lying on a loan application between 2005 and 2007, delivering a historic blow to a city government that has seen unprecedented legal woes and eroded the public's trust. Published June 6, 2012

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (second from left) chats with council member Mary Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, as other lawmakers arrive for a meeting at the John A. Wilson Building in Washington on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, to discuss and vote on the fiscal 2013 budget. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. Council unanimously approves $9.4B budget

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown on Wednesday shepherded unanimous approval of the city's $9.4 billion fiscal 2013 budget hours before he was forced to address mounting questions about his political future amid a federal probe into the finances of his 2008 campaign. Published June 5, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (second from right) holds a press conference to announce his nominees to the new Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Robert J. Spagnoletti (left) Deborah A. Lathen (second from left) and Laura M. Richards (right) at the John A. WIlson Building on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

Gray nominates 3 to ethics board

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Tuesday named three attorneys to serve on the newly created D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, which emerged as part of legislative reforms intended to restore faith in city hall after a year of scandals and ongoing criminal probes by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Published June 5, 2012

On the steps of the John A. Wilson Building on Monday, Arash Karimi of the District lets his views be known as D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray outlines the city's response to the federal Secure Communities program, which kicks in Tuesday. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. prepares to walk fine line on deportations

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray assured immigrant groups Monday that the city is doing all it can to make sure a program aimed at deporting violent aliens does not erode trust between residents and law enforcement after it goes into effect on Tuesday. Published June 4, 2012

Medical marijuana

Pot policies in California can't rely on D.C. program

A decision by Congress in 2009 to stop blocking the District's medical marijuana program should not be construed as federal permission to grow and use the drug, according to a recent legal opinion from California. Published June 3, 2012

Alexander Kinyua (Harford County Sheriff's Department)

Man tells officers he murdered, ate roommate

A 21-year-old Maryland man charged with murder told authorities he killed his roommate and then ate his heart and portions of his brain, according to court papers. Published May 31, 2012

Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, to object to actions by House Republicans whom he and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton say are targeting D.C.'s home-rule authority. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

D.C. will defend resident hiring law

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. officials are girding for a legal battle over a highly touted law that ensures city residents are hired to work on projects that receive public assistance from the District. Published May 31, 2012

Former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. makes his way to a waiting car after his sentencing at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 3, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

Judge sides with Thomas on restitution payments

A federal court judge sided with lawyers of former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. on Thursday by ordering the prison-bound Ward 5 resident to pay $353,000 in restitution to the District instead of a higher figure demanded by prosecutors. Published May 31, 2012

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown (The Washington Times)

Brown to introduce plan to repay furloughed employees

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown will introduce a proposal on Tuesday that would compensate city workers for four furlough days it took in 2011, only to see the District gain a windfall of revenue by the end of the year. Published May 30, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to outline a network of 100 organizations pledged to protect the District's home rule during federal budget talks. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. officials optimistic about getting budgetary independence

D.C. officials remain upbeat about their prospects for getting the right to spend local funds without prior approval from Congress, despite a lack of tangible progress on Capitol Hill more than a year after a powerful House member floated a plan to grant the city “budget autonomy.” Published May 29, 2012