Skip to content

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics and the White House for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

D.C. mayor’s team unethical in hiring practices, probe reveals

The administration of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray engaged in cronyism, paid salaries above legal caps and illegally hired the children of senior officials, according to the findings of a D.C. Council investigation released Tuesday. Published August 23, 2011

Principal Jennifer Frentress welcomes Monica Jackson, 10, and other students on the first day of the school year at John Tyler Elementary in Southeast. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C students asked to show up, step up

After millions of dollars in infrastructure investment and years of sharply scrutinized teacher performance, D.C. officials say it's time for students to step up their game this school year. Published August 22, 2011


Local schools kick off year with new chiefs

As another school year begins across the region, the District of Columbia and Montgomery County open their doors under new leadership and with widely contrasting academic and socioeconomic challenges. Published August 21, 2011

D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Investigation largely clears Alexander

D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander and her vocal opponent in next year's race to represent Ward 7 are breathing sighs of relief now that recent investigations have largely cleared both of mishandling government money. Published August 18, 2011

Gray wants big turnout at King events to back self-rule

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray urged residents Tuesday to attend events preceding the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial that highlight the city's efforts to achieve statehood and more autonomy from Capitol Hill. Published August 16, 2011

D.C.’s Internet gambling goal gets good odds

D.C. officials are optimistic about reaching their first-year revenue goal of roughly $2.2 million for an online gambling program, despite delays caused by concerns and opposition. Published August 16, 2011

**FILE** A marijuana plant flourishes under grow lights at a warehouse. (Associated Press)

D.C.’s medical-marijuana program accents risks

Applicants for the District of Columbia's medical-marijuana program now must state in writing that they assume the risk of federal prosecution for growing or distributing the drug and that they cannot hold the city liable for arrests, according to newly revised rules. Published August 14, 2011

Wal-Mart, D.C. announce job-training program

D.C. officials and Wal-Mart announced a three-year, $3 million pilot program Thursday to provide 2,000 city residents with skills needed to succeed in retail, as the box-store giant continues to prepare for at least four locations in the nation's capital. Published August 11, 2011

Gray announces statehood rally before King memorial dedication

D.C. officials want city residents to be among the first visitors to the long-awaited Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial and to insist that what the civil rights leader "has done for our country must also be done for the residents of our nation's capital." Published August 10, 2011


D.C. ‘Jock tax’ finds little support

The D.C. Council's effort to impose a "jock tax" on out-of-town professional athletes who play games in the District may have been flagged for a false start. Published August 9, 2011

DYRS official fired after questionable hire of Baynes

The District's juvenile-justice agency fired its human resources manager last week in the wake of unresolved questions around the hiring of a superintendent to oversee the city's youth-detention facility, D.C. human resources officials said. Published August 8, 2011

**FILE** Togo D. West Jr. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

West resigns as chairman of D.C. elections board

The chairman of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics plans to resign, just two weeks after the board's executive director also stepped down, D.C. officials said Monday. Published August 8, 2011

Rules set for D.C. permit to cultivate marijuana

Candidates to grow medical marijuana in the District risk wasting their time, energy and a non-refundable $2,500 if they're not prepared to meet the strict demands of the application process about to get under way. Published August 7, 2011

Business rips Gray’s veto of bonds-tax measure

Three D.C. business groups are "shocked and dismayed" by Mayor Vincent C. Gray's decision to pocket-veto a measure that would have delayed collection of a tax on out-of-state bonds. Published August 4, 2011

**FILE** D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander. (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

OCF clears Alexander on most charges

The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance cleared council member Yvette M. Alexander on Wednesday of allegations she used her constituent services fund for her personal benefit, yet fined her $4,000 for two smaller infractions. Published August 3, 2011

**FILE** D.C. Council member Mary Cheh (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Cheh blasts Gray’s veto of D.C. Council bonds-tax compromise

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh is livid about Mayor Vincent C. Gray's use of a pocket veto to make a tax on out-of-state bonds retroactive, even though the D.C. Council fought to delay its implementation until 2012. Published August 3, 2011