- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 5, 2011

Who’s harsher?

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier appeared on WTOP Radio’s “Ask the Chief” program Thursday and discussed an article in The Washington Times on complaints by male command staff members of receiving harsher discipline than their female counterparts.

Asked about comments she made to The Times that discipline under her predecessor, then-Chief Charles H. Ramsey, was too severe, she said, “I think the police department for many, many years has been too severe in terms of chain of command — again, paramilitary organizations tend to be very punitive in terms of discipline.”

Fraternal Order of Police Chairman Kristopher Baumann — a Lanier nemesis and, by the way, no great fan of Chief Ramsey’s, either — volunteered some statistics on the subject.

Mr. Baumann’s figures say his members faced “adverse actions” — which include suspensions, terminations, demotions and fines — in 134 cases in 2006, Chief Ramsey’s last year at MPD.

Last year, his members faced adverse actions in 136 cases. The numbers in between have ranged from a low of 100 such cases in 2007 to 160 cases in 2008, according to Mr. Baumann’s findings.

So we asked the police department for some comparable statistics that would back up the chief’s statements.

The response? File a Freedom of Information Act request.

We did. And we’re thinking there will be more to say about this.

Sulaimon speaks!

The long-awaited testimony from former D.C. minor mayoral candidate/whistleblower/reluctant witness/unemployed auditor Sulaimon Brown is scheduled for Monday.

Months after the D.C. Council’s Committee on Government Operations and the Environment initially sought to speak with Mr. Brown about claims he made that he was given cash and promised a job by the campaign of Mayor Vincent C. Gray to stay in the 2010 race and bash then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, he is finally expected to appear to answer questions from someone other than a reporter.

Of course, it took a D.C. Superior Court judge to compel him to testify — but only after the judge agreed his appearance should be limited to six hours so as not to hinder his ongoing search for employment.

Since we have no idea what Mr. Brown might say on Monday, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the notable things he’s already said:

• “I’m here to say I’m not running from anyone.”

- Sulaimon Brown to reporters on March 28, weeks before a D.C. Council committee had to take him to court to have him appear for testimony

• “Tell them I’ll be right there.”

- Sulaimon Brown to a guy in the hall of the John A. Wilson Building on April 7, shortly before he slipped out the front door instead of testifying before the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment

• “I watch a lot of Judge Judy.”

- Sulaimon Brown to D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith N. Macaluso on Tuesday, explaining his generous use of the term “for the record”

• “I’ve already said I take full responsibility.”

- Oh, wait. That wasn’t Sulaimon Brown. That was D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown. Our fault.

Brief or boxer?

Was it ever easier to use innuendo in political chit-chat? New York Rep. Anthony D. Weiner’s vague, less-than-satisfactory explanations about how a photo of a man’s crotch ended up being sent to a Seattle woman through his Twitter account brought irresistible opportunities this week to poke fun.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly was no exception when he was asked on WAMU-FM’s “Politics Hour” for some thoughts on the “Boxer Rebellion” raging on Capitol Hill.

“I hope all of us can grow our way out of this incident,” the Virginia Democrat told host Kojo Nnamdi and analyst and NBC Washington reporter Tom Sherwood.

‘Nuff said.

Hot under the collar

Maryland’s recently passed Dream Act has many Republicans hot under the collar, but never more so than during a news conference last week.

Organizers of the petition to suspend the law allowing in-state tuition for many illegal immigrants gathered Tuesday in Annapolis to tout the more than 60,000 signatures they had collected by the end of May.

However, their plan to address reporters from a parking lot outside the state Board of Elections ran into one small problem: the weather.

Temperatures soared to nearly 100 degrees as a post-Memorial Day heat wave made things uncomfortable for the five Republican delegates scheduled to speak, including petition chairman Delegate Neil C. Parrott and honorary co-chairman Delegate Patrick L. McDonough.

Nonetheless, they soldiered on. In full suits. With no tree cover. And barely a cloud in the sky.

Within minutes, all five were drenched in sweat.

“It was pretty bad,” Mr. Parrott conceded.

We hear the reporters didn’t like it much either.

Jeffrey Anderson, Tom Howell Jr., David Hill and Paige Winfield Cunningham contributed to this report

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