- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 4, 2009


Fenty names new deputy mayor

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has appointed Valerie Santos to serve as his deputy for planning and economic development.

Ms. Santos, who had served as chief operating officer in the deputy mayor’s office, replaces Neil Albert, who was promoted to city administrator. The appointment was announced Wednesday.

Mr. Fenty has been reorganizing the top ranks of his administration after President Obama tapped City Administrator Dan Tangherlini for a post in the U.S. Treasury Department.

Ms. Santos will oversee billions of dollars worth of development across the city. Before joining the D.C. government, she was vice president of the firm Jones Lang LaSalle and held posts with other real estate groups.

Ms. Santos earned an MBA and a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard University.



Judge: Advocate can post officials’ SSNs

A federal judge said a Virginia privacy advocate can continue to post some government officials’ Social Security numbers on her Web site.

Betty “B.J.” Ostergren of Hanover County publishes land records containing state legislators’ and court clerks’ Social Security numbers to demonstrate how the government is failing to protect Virginians’ privacy. The state Attorney General’s Office challenged her practice, saying she was just adding to the threat of identity theft.

U.S. District Judge Robert Payne last summer said Ms. Ostergren didn’t have to remove any records she already posted. On Tuesday, he ruled she can continue to post records containing the names of officials - but not those of the general public.


Agency advises of Rx data breach

A state agency is advising more than 500,000 residents who could be affected by a prescription records security breach to be vigilant about identity theft.

The Virginia Department of Health Professions said Wednesday it’s mailing notifications to 530,000 people whose prescription records may contain their Social Security numbers. Notifications also are being sent to 1,400 people who may have provided their Social Security numbers when they registered to use the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program.

A hacker stole millions of electronic prescription records from the system on April 30. The FBI and state police are investigating.

The Department of Health Professions said the notifications include advice about precautionary steps that may be taken to prevent identity theft.



D.C. man convicted in 2004 slaying

A federal jury has convicted a D.C. man in the slaying of an armored car driver.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Earl Davis, 39, was found guilty of several charges, including the August 2004 murder of Dunbar armored-car employee Jason Schwindler.

Prosecutors said Mr. Schwindler left the armored car at a Hyattsville bank carrying more than $57,000 in cash and nearly $6,000 in checks when Davis and another man shot at him multiple times. The pair then took the money and tried to leave in a Jeep but were struck by the armored car and then fled in a bank customer’s car.

Prosecutors said DNA evidence from a hat and the two vehicles linked Davis to the crime. Davis faces life in prison at a Sept. 18 sentencing.


Va. man indicted in Ponzi scheme

A federal grand jury in Baltimore indicted a Virginia man in a $17 million Ponzi scheme to defraud online investors.

The indictment of Byron K. Brown, 32, of Vienna, Va., was announced Wednesday. Prosecutors said Mr. Brown was chief executive officer of several companies with names such as In God We Trust (IGT) Financial Services and WM Private Equity Fund Inc.

According to the indictment, from 2003 to 2009, Mr. Brown operated Web sites advertising investments with a $1 million minimum.


O’Malley to make regulation a priority

Gov. Martin O’Malley is pledging to make energy regulation “an administration priority.”

In April, legislation that would have steered Maryland back toward some regulation of energy markets failed in a House committee after the Senate approved the measure.

Mr. O’Malley emphasized his resolve during a Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday, when the board approved about $4.6 million for five contracts for consultants to help guide state regulators.

He said the state needs to retain the expertise “so that the people do not get worked over by the energy industry.”

Maryland decided to deregulate in 1999. Rising energy prices have caused many in Annapolis to view the decision as a mistake.

Under one contract, OCI Resources Inc. will help the state’s Public Service Commission study ramifications of a proposed $4.5 billion deal between Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Group and France’s largest utility, Electricite de France.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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