- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2006

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Christopher McGaffin has asked an inspector general to open an independent probe into why an armed man was able to enter and run through the building, lawmakers said yesterday.

Some House members are questioning Chief McGaffin’s veracity concerning his initial account of the incident.

On Sept. 18, the day that Carlos Greene, 20, is accused of storming the Capitol, Chief McGaffin said his officers subdued the man. Later, a police spokeswoman confirmed reports in the press that civilians caught Mr. Greene.

“Of course he knew,” said Rep. Ray LaHood, Illinois Republican, emerging from a closed meeting yesterday, referring to Chief McGaffin. “He knew the moment it happened.”

Chief McGaffin declined to comment to reporters after yesterday’s session of the House Appropriations Committee, other than to say it had been “productive.”

But Mr. LaHood and Rep. James P. Moran, Virginia Democrat, said the interim chief apologized to the panel and told its members he had requested an independent investigation by the department’s inspector general. They said Chief McGaffin also reported reassigning the officers charged with making decisions that day, but declined to say how many or whom.

Also during the meeting, committee members viewed a videotape of the incident. They said it showed Mr. Greene driving around a police vehicle that had been parked in front of a construction entrance, but not blocking it, and entering the Capitol grounds.

The tape then showed Mr. Greene’s sport utility vehicle crashing into a structure just in front of the building and him dashing up the stairs with officers in pursuit. Mr. Greene entered the Rotunda through an unguarded door and ran through the building.

In the end, the tape showed employees of the office that gives out commemorative flags subduing Mr. Greene and turning him over to police, the lawmakers said.

The panel has yet to complete the 2,300-member police force’s budget for next year. The lawmakers said the incident has made them question whether the department is spending its quarter-billion-dollar budget properly.

They pointed to a handout saying that the inspector overseeing the Capitol Visitor Center, the construction site breached by Mr. Greene, was not on duty that day because he was taking 13.6 weeks of compensatory time off.

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