By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Five weeks after he accepted national awards in his role as director of the D.C. Department of the Environment, the agency's former chief Christophe Tulou arrived in a downtown office building for a gathering where there were many familiar faces from the city government and environmental community.
The Washington Nationals and half of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's Cabinet are ironing out plans to beef up security, vendor inspections and traffic control in and around Nationals Park next week when the city hosts its first baseball postseason game in almost 80 years, officials said Wednesday.
The former environmental chief for the D.C. government says he was illegally fired after raising concerns to federal regulators about a plan to delay at least part of a massive public works project aimed at reducing water pollution in the District while the city's water utility tests an alternative plan.
Former D.C. Department of the Environment Director Christophe Tulou, before his firing last month, had cautioned the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and local officials about a plan pushed by the District's water utility and backed by Mayor Vincent C. Gray to delay construction of one or more giant underground tunnels aimed at reducing the flow of pollution into the city's dirty rivers, records show.
Not long after the sudden firing of the District's top environmental official, Christophe Tulou, last month, employees from the city's Department of Environment were told to report to a hastily arranged meeting at the D.C. government offices on Fourth Street Northwest.
Members of a newly formed task force looking at ways to reduce power outages in the District said it might be wiser to bury power lines only in high-risk areas than shell out billions for a citywide project.
D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh is calling for a formal investigation into Pepco's response to the storm that thrashed the D.C. area Friday and caused widespread power outages, a multiday trial that has city leaders talking about a piece-by-piece effort to bury power lines underground despite an astronomical price tag.
A mayor rocked by charges of pay-for-play politics, a House investigation and a federal probe into his 2010 campaign is losing friends fast. To stem the tide, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's strategists are employing politicians' usual method for regaining allies: using tax dollars to enrich special interests.
A Hawaii-based Marine lance corporal accused of hazing in Afghanistan is going to jail for 30 days and will have his rank reduced to private first class for punching and kicking a fellow Marine who killed himself shortly afterward.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray sent a letter to the National Park Service on Friday demanding "full and complete reimbursement" of the $1.6 million incurred by hosting protest camps on federal land at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square.
A newly formed D.C. agency that consolidates the city's capital projects and maintenance duties under one roof should benefit the District financially, but its team must act quickly to justify the faith of city legislators who stepped "out on a limb" in support of the endeavor, council members said Tuesday.
D.C. officials closed schools on Wednesday and "red-flagged" 13 educational facilities as they inspect damage from a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that surprised residents up and down the East Coast on Tuesday afternoon.
A key aide to D.C. politicians recently earned more than $200,000 working as chief of staff in a city agency in charge of rebuilding city schools, but he wasn't on the government's payroll. Instead, he was hired through a nearly quarter-million-dollar no-bid contract.
As D.C. leaders prepare to defend the city's strong credit ratings on Wall Street on Thursday, council Chairman Kwame R. Brown said he wants to bring on a financial adviser to aid lawmakers as they begin work with new Mayor Vincent C. Gray on the city's budget.
The scores of city officials, construction workers and architects working on the Washington Nationals' new ballpark grew accustomed to one thing over the last two years: pressure.
"There's a lot of logistical issues we've been focused on," Mr. Lew said. "It's not just some of the issues about who's paying for what."
"This is not about not communicating," Mr. Lew said. "We're not talking about censoring. It's the timing of some of those communications."