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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.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told a D.C. Council committee on June 23 that police escorts for celebrities could be authorized under rare circumstances. Above: The panel's chairman, Phil Mendelson, said, β€œThe biggest issue here ... has to be the lack of clarity.” (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council seeks to clarify celebrity police-escort policy

Believe it or not, actress Hilary Duff and Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan have something in common: Both enjoyed a D.C. police escort before bad-boy celebrity Charlie Sheen highlighted the muddled policy issue in April, according to a ranking Metropolitan police officer. Published June 23, 2011

D.C. CFO Natwar M. Gandhi

D.C. surplus revenue can’t fund priorities

An influx of $77 million into the District's coffers will not be enough to fund even two of the nine spending priorities the D.C. Council settled on for any additional money the city collects, according to revenue projections released Wednesday. Published June 22, 2011

Online gambling readied to roll

D.C. Lottery officials are gearing up for unprecedented gambling over the Internet through "demonstration games" that will allow players to get their feet wet before wagering real dollars. Published June 20, 2011

** FILE ** In this April 20, 2011, file photo, gas prices above five dollars a gallon for Plus and Supreme octanes, are seen on a sign at a gas station in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

D.C. Council considers high cost of gas in the city

A D.C. Council committee on Friday explored why gas prices in the District are consistently higher than the national average in its hearing on a bill that would prohibit "jobbers" β€” those who sell gas from the refineries to service stations β€” from both owning and operating retail gas stations. Published June 17, 2011

Henderson on track to head D.C. schools

Mayor Vincent. C. Gray's pick to lead the District's public school system received open support from several council members on Thursday, despite mixed reviews from the public and varying opinions about her links to the prior regime. Published June 16, 2011

Neil Stanley

Investigation delays vote on DYRS chief

D.C. human resources officials are investigating whether the nominee to lead the District's troubled juvenile justice agency tailored a key job posting to fit the background of someone he had known socially for 10 years. Published June 16, 2011

D.C. CFO Natwar M. Gandhi

D.C. Council decides on contingencies

Three weeks ago, the District's chief financial officer issued a warning: Inserting items into the city budget based on hopes that revenue may exceed projections down the road is not sound fiscal policy. Published June 15, 2011

D.C. Council passes $10.8 billion budget

The D.C. Council on Tuesday approved a $10.8 billion budget plan for the coming fiscal year after hours of debate that focused on the best way to spend any additional dollars projected to enter the city's coffers. Published June 14, 2011

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

Judge: Brooks’ son won’t have to testify

A D.C. Superior Court judge's decision to allow a potential witness to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights has effectively ended the hearings into Mayor Vincent C. Gray's personnel practices, according to a D.C. Council memo. Published June 13, 2011

Kwame R. Brown

More dealing likely before bonds tax added to D.C. budget

A move to tax D.C. residents' income on interest from out-of-state bonds has emerged as a key battleground in the debate over revenues ahead of a final vote scheduled for Tuesday on the city's $10 billion fiscal 2012 budget. Published June 13, 2011

City’s attorney general takes a stand

In the course of five days last week, the District's mayor was called a "crook" at a public hearing, the council chairman's campaign committee was accused of widespread reporting violations, one council member disclosed he had been offered bribes, and another council member was accused of using his charity as a slush fund. Published June 12, 2011

Flanked by his attorney, Frederick D. Cooke Jr., D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (right) refuted the city attorney general's allegations regarding the use of grant money and charitable donations at an afternoon news conference. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Thomas steps down from council committee chairman post

Citing his "highest regard" for the District's legislative body, council member Harry Thomas Jr. says he will step aside as chairman of a key committee as he fights a lawsuit accusing him of siphoning public funds for personal use. Published June 8, 2011

The city government has accused D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. of using grant money and donations for trips and expenditures. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Announcement on Thomas expected this afternoon

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown is expected to announce this afternoon whether fellow member Harry Thomas Jr. faces sanctions, voluntarily or otherwise, after a lawsuit filed this week accused him of siphoning off public funds for personal use. Published June 8, 2011

D.C. Council approves boundary changes

The D.C. Council on Wednesday approved a draft plan that repositions the boundaries of the city's eight political wards after making concessions to Ward 6 residents who protested the division of its eastern neighborhoods on Capitol Hill. Published June 7, 2011

Decision pending on Thomas sanctions

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown said an announcement will be made Wednesday on whether Harry Thomas Jr. faces sanctions from his colleagues in light of a lawsuit that accuses him of funneling money for youth baseball programs to his own pocket. Published June 7, 2011

The city government has accused D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. of using grant money and donations for trips and expenditures. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C. sues council member Thomas; federal case filed

The District government Monday filed a $1 million civil lawsuit against D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr., accusing the Ward 5 Democrat of using grant money and charitable donations for personal golfing trips, hotel stays and a new sport utility vehicle. Published June 6, 2011