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DC Taxpayers Paying For Councilman Brown's SUV

6:20 PM, Feb 21, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- DC taxpayers are paying $1900 a month for DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown to drive around in a high-end SUV. Brown and his staff asked for a fully loaded Lincoln Navigator L, and that's what they received, including TVs mounted in the headrests.

Brown talked exclusively with 9NEWS NOW's Bruce Johnson Monday about the concern the city is actually stuck with two leased SUVs.

Brown told 9NEWS NOW he's trying to return the Navigator L, but there is a second Navigator, also leased at $1900 per month. It was rejected by the chairman because the interior was gray and not black. That's two leased vehicles with contracts that, for now, cannot be broken, say sources.  

The DC government has its own fleet of vehicles, about 200 or so, including the smart car that former Mayor Adrian Fenty once drove around town.

There's also a Navigator provided Mayor Vince Gray and driven by his DC police security team. The mayor's leased Navigator, ordered by the police chief, is also costing about $1900 per month, according to sources.

9NEWS NOW also heard DC officials are afraid of being hauled before a committee on Capitol Hill to explain why the chairman and possibly others need luxury vehicles.  

Brown says all vehicle leases should be examined and not just the ones that are causing him political heartburn.

As to whether or not the DC government can return both SUVs and stop paying more than $3500 per month, we don't know. Those vehicles are under contract and it depends on what the leasing company wants to do.

Written by Bruce Johnson
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com

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