The Washington Times - August 30, 2011, 08:38AM

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray will shake up his administration this week by appointing a new chief of staff and deputy chief of staff. They are Christopher Murphy, a deputy chief of staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Andrea “Andi” Pringle, who was deputy campaign manager for Howard Dean’s presidential run, according to The Washington Post.

It’s been five months since Mr. Gray fired his first chief of staff, and the full-time deputy job also has been vacant. The mayor is expected to make the announcements today.


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will tour storm damage in central and Southern Maryland, two of the state’s regions hit hardest by Hurricane Irene, The Washington Times reports.

The D.C. police officer accused of drunkenly shooting at transgendered people has been punished at least twice before for alcohol-related incidents, according to records and sources. Charging documents released Monday described how Officer Kenneth Furr, a 20-year veteran, crashed his Cadillac into another vehicle early Friday morning, stood on the hood of the victims’ vehicle and shouted, “I’m gonna kill all of you.” Officer Furr is due in court today, according to the Washington Examiner.

Officer Furr was arrested in 2004 for driving while intoxicated and operating while impaired, according to court records. He pleaded no contest, and the charges were dropped after he completed a diversion program. On Christmas Day 1996, Officer Furr and another officer were on duty when they got into a drunken argument with a mother and son. Police brass placed Officer Furr on administrative leave and tried to fire him, but he was reinstated in 1998 after a change in police chiefs.

Two former D.C. Cabinet officials are dismayed that their joint request for an investigation by the inspector general’s office of the D.C. Lottery contract has gone nowhere.

Former Chief Procurement Officer David P. Gragan and former Attorney General Peter J. Nickles said their July 2010 letter to Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby, calling for a review of Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi’s oversight of the lottery, was motivated by contract irregularities and questions about whether a 51 percent local partner to the $38 million contract was thoroughly vetted before being approved by the D.C. Council.

But more than two years after accusations of political meddling were first leveled at Mr. Gandhi and then-D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, interviews with key witnesses and documents obtained by The Washington Times show that neither Mr. Gandhi nor Mr. Willoughby has fully probed a questionable deal that has drawn fresh scrutiny because of the lottery’s plan to launch the nation’s first online poker system.

The former treasurer of Goochland County, Va., who has pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $200,000 in public funds, funneled the money to a shadowy figure in Nigeria, according to a Virginia state audit released Monday and the prosecutor in the case.

Brenda Grubbs was arrested Feb. 2 for attempted embezzlement and effectively resigned her position on Feb. 11. She pleaded guilty to a 20-count indictment earlier this month. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 13, and she faces life in prison, according to The Washington Times.

Maryland legislators will meet today to resume discussions on offshore wind development in the state, four months after they shot down Gov. Martin O’Malley’s signature green-energy proposal. The Senate Finance Committee will discuss the pros and cons of wind technology, which the governor has touted as a job-creating, environment-friendly alternative to fossil fuels while acknowledging that it likely will increase energy costs for consumers, The Washington Times reports.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, said the 2012 election could play a pivotal role in setting the course of economic recovery in the U.S., or lack there of. “I just hope the economy can hold on long enough for that debate to take place,” he said during a visit to Waynesboro on Monday. “The Obama administration has pursued a number of policies that have failed and others that, in effect, have been anti-business,” the News Virginian reports.