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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. online poker talks going nowhere

Just because Congress didn't object to a bill authorizing online gambling in the District doesn't necessarily mean that federal lawmakers agree that the city can start running online poker. Published April 13, 2011

Rochelle Webb, former director of the Department of Employment Services, says her early dismissal was based partially on fear of what she would say in testimony.

Webb tells how she got swept up in scandal

Rochelle Webb has had a week to "get over the shock" of the abrupt end of her city job on April 1 — a parable of sorts on how an outsider was swept into the gears of local influence and the roulette known as the excepted service, a system of political hires who serve at the will of the executive. Published April 11, 2011

OPTS OUT: Former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown speaks to reporters in the John A. Wilson Building lobby Thursday during a hearing on the personnel practices of Mayor Vincent C. Gray's administration. He chose not to testify. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Gray ex-aide concedes errors

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's former chief of staff testified Thursday that she made errors in hiring for the administration and allowed informal standards to guide how much appointees were paid. Published April 7, 2011

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Spending increase proposed for office with ties to Gray

A D.C. Council member on Wednesday cried foul over a four-member city agency slated for a budget increase that would cover the salary of the daughter of a close confidante of Mayor Vincent C. Gray. Published April 6, 2011

Brown moves to keep out non-resident students

D.C. residents have told officials that for years they have seen cars with Maryland license plates pull up to their schools and drop off students. Published April 5, 2011

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (left) and Council member Jack Evans talk following the ceremony to mark the start of construction on CityCenterDC, a mixed-use development project that will be located on the site of the former convention center. The city estimates that some 3,700 new jobs will be created by the project. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

CityCenterDC a ‘piece of the puzzle’ downtown

Standing on the edge of the long-awaited CityCenterDC real estate project, D.C. Council member Jack Evans joked that he had met with George Washington and Pierre L'Enfant to "talk to them about how to get this done." Published April 4, 2011

Gray confidante withdraws name from nomination

A close confidant of Mayor Vincent C. Gray withdrew her nomination Monday to be the chairman of the Washington Convention Center and Sports Authority, the mayor's office said. Published April 4, 2011

Qatari money funds D.C. city center project

An investment arm of oil-rich Qatar is putting up the equity needed to fund the massive CityCenterDC project, officials said moments before breaking ground Monday at the site of the old downtown convention center six blocks from the White House. Published April 4, 2011

Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat

D.C. budget has ‘deal-breakers’ for 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray's fiscal 2012 budget proposal already has drawn sharp criticism from D.C. Council members who either oppose tax increases for the city's top earners or cuts to social services, providing a glimpse into the potential battles in the coming weeks. Published April 3, 2011

Gray pulls nomination of embattled appointee

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Friday withdrew the nomination of a Cabinet-level appointee under fire for using an employee as a chauffeur and staying at an expensive hotel at taxpayer expense. Published April 1, 2011

Gray introduces ‘very difficult’ budget

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Friday announced plans to levy higher taxes on the city's wealthiest residents while steeply cutting human services programs in a fiscal 2012 budget proposal that favors education and keeps public safety funding steady. Published April 1, 2011

Bill memorializes Southeast shooting victims

A D.C. council member introduced ambitious legislation to stem truancy among youth and recognize behavioral issues that could lead to violence one year after several youths were gunned down in front of a house on South Capitol Street. Published March 30, 2011

Proposed licensing system enrages D.C. cabdrivers

Dozens of D.C. taxi drivers gathered in front of City Hall on Wednesday to angrily protest a bill that would introduce a medallion licensing system in the District. Published March 30, 2011

Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe last week ordered that the pre-2007 D.C. Fire Department logo (right) replace the new seal featuring a Maltese eagle (above).

D.C. chief returns old seal to uniforms

The District's new fire chief has ordered members to use a patch with a pre-2007 department seal on their uniforms, reversing the phase-in of a Maltese eagle logo ordered under the city's former fire chief. Published March 29, 2011