- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Federal oversight to end for police

The Metropolitan Police Department soon no longer must report to federal officials on its use of force.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced yesterday that the department has satisfied requirements of a 2001 agreement with the Department of Justice and no longer will be subject to review from an independent monitor on how its officers use force.

Police initially entered into the agreement in part to minimize the risk of excessive use of force among officers and reform how such incidents are reported. Officials said the department has made sufficient compliance with requirements to terminate the oversight, although police still will have to report on certain provisions until June 13.

Jury gets the case of ‘D.C. Madam’

The question of whether Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s D.C. escort service was engaged in prostitution is now up to a jury.

Defense attorney Preston Burton rested his case yesterday, and the jury began deliberations that will resume this morning.

Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, was spared an embarrassing trip to the witness stand in the federal trial on prostitution-related racketeering charges.

Prosecutors kept Mr. Vitter off their witness list, but he was named on Miss Palfrey’s defense list, though it was not clear exactly what he would have said to help the defense.

Miss Palfrey, 52, maintains that her California-based firm, Pamela Martin & Associates, offered services of fantasy, not sex. During testimony last week, however, many of her former employees said they had sex with most of the men they went to see.

Mr. Vitter has acknowledged being involved with Miss Palfrey’s escort service and has apologized for what he called “a very serious sin.” He has since avoided most follow-up questions.



Woman found dead near her apartment

Montgomery County police said a woman whose body was found by a trash bin near her home Sunday afternoon was Lindsay Marie Harvey, 25.

A person walking in the 700 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard found Miss Harvey unresponsive about 2 p.m.

A preliminary report from the medical examiner’s office indicates that Miss Harvey died from a gunshot wound. Her death has been ruled a homicide.

Police said Miss Harvey likely was killed while walking to her apartment early Sunday after socializing with friends. Police have not determined a motive for the attack.


Boy, 8, rescued from storm drain

Firefighters rescued an 8-year-old boy who got stuck up to his waist in a storm drain Sunday while trying to retrieve a ball.

The boy got stuck between the curb and the metal grate in the 700 block of Herald Harbor Road about 11 a.m.

Anne Arundel County fire department spokesman Lt. Frank Fennell said the boy was caught for several minutes before he was freed by firefighters. The boy was taken by ambulance to Baltimore-Washington Medical Center for evaluation of injuries.


Army to test wells near Fort Detrick

The Army wants to find and test private wells near Fort Detrick for contamination.

Installation spokesman Chuck Gordon said the search for wells in an area bounded by Shookstown Road, Montevue Lane and Rosemont Avenue continues the Army’s effort to clean up chemical pollution first detected in 1991.

Mr. Gordon said the levels of toxins in groundwater beneath the post fell sharply after contractors finished excavating an old dump site there in 2004.

The Army now wants to know whether any nearby private wells still exist so they can be sampled.

The Army connected at least seven homes to city water after the pollution was detected.


Oklahoma senator a thorn for Metro

Legislation that would provide federal funding for Metro continues to face a roadblock on Capitol Hill: Sen. Tom Coburn.

Bills introduced in the House and Senate would provide $1.5 billion for Metro over the next 10 years. The money would help the transit agency repair its deteriorating infrastructure.

But Mr. Coburn continues to block the Senate bill. The Oklahoma Republican told WTOP Radio that he is opposed to funding Metro unless lawmakers cut spending elsewhere.

Mr. Coburn said the cost of maintaining the transit system should come from higher fares and that the agency should be more efficient with its spending.

Those who support federal funding for Metro note that nearly half of rush-hour passengers are federal workers.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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