Jim Graham’s Chief of Staff Arrested on Bribery Charges

As a reader wrote me, “not breaking news but… but pretty interesting story coming out of CM Graham’s office today. His chief of staff arrested on bribery charges.” I was on a walkabout and just returned to tons of emails about this. It is crazy! Thanks to all who sent emails. My question is – do you think this is going to hurt CM Graham’s political career?

Here’s the Washington Post’s take:


29 Comment

  • Too early to tell. I think he’s been a very good councilmember for Ward 1. I assume that he had nothing to do with this, and if that’s true, I think it will be old news by election time.

  • Assuming Graham had no idea about the activities of his CoS, I think he’s good. I can’t believe his CoS sold out for $1500! If I was taking a bribe I would definitley demand more $$$.

  • I hope Graham was bribed too. The thought that he could do such ludicrous things as hand huge sums to existing taxi-drivers un-bribed is too frightening to consider.

  • There will definitely be implications. After reading the WaPo article I wasn’t convinced that CM Graham was out of the loop on this one. Guess we’ll find out pretty soon!

    And $1500? Really?

  • Along with the intern shooter this summer – Look’s like Jim’s building up some street cred!

  • $1,500 seems like a pittance to risk your career over. anyway, who knows if Graham will go down. i would have thought Marion Barry would’ve been run out of town a decade ago, yet he still holds public office. maybe Graham can be DC’s new Marion Barry

  • My guess is that this wasn’t the only bribe the guy took during his tenure — the stuff the Post reported doesn’t seem like it’s from a first-timer. And $500-1000 cash is probably because they thought it wouldn’t raise any eyebrows — that is, after all, not a ridiculous amount of cash to have on you. The best turn of events will be if this guy tries to save himself and flips on Graham.

  • I really haven’t liked much about JG since I moved back to the city. Maybe it’s the grandstanding, but I feel like he misses a lot of issues until they’re highlighted in the WaPo and then he’s aghast and determined to get to the bottom of it.

    As the Metro board chairman I hold him responsible for the mess metro is in today. He’s been on the board since 1999. I think 10 years is a long enough record to know whether you’re part of the problem or part of the solution. Metro’s problems didn’t happen over night, but in 10 years as the board chairman if you even have a pulse, you should have been able to do something positive with the organization. Why hasn’t anyone at all lost their job over the crash? The system they bought was extremely obviously bunk, they knew it was bunk and they hid the fact that it was bunk. People died so that other people wouldn’t get embarrassed. Total douchebagness.

    I saw him on the DC govt station complaining about lead in the water and taking WASA to task, but 10 years on, I still have lead pipes leading to my house. And his “fighting for tenant rights” is largely toothless.

    Lot’s of talk, very little accomplished.

    I think a student government class president probably could have accomplished more.

  • Jim is quoted as saying the “never, to my recollection” talked to Loza about the taxi legislation and that’s just crap. A chief of staff and the elected official have a relationship that closer than what some spouses have. There is no way that the Grahamstander and Loza “never” talked about what is actually a pretty big piece of legislation…no way.

    I suspect that there is more to come on this and even if the Grahamstander is never indicted on this, it does not look good for him at all.

  • Dang! If only we had known how cheap bribes were in the city we could have fixed everything a decade ago!

    I feel very ashamed. First Eliot Spitzer couldn’t even find a decent DC whore, now we’re the laughingstock of the bribery world! This is like a kid in the lunchroom trading his twinkies for a home-made granola bar.

  • The real question is, does this affect the girard st park’s renaming to Obama park? (please say yes, please say yes)

  • I think Anonymous 3:48 is correct. this isn’t the 1st bribe Loza has taken. Interesting that as I poll my fellow Latino friends they all say the same thing “it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy” and “he is the slimest”.

    Remember he was also the one pushing for the DC Fiesta in Mt Pleasant. And as I said during that discussion, all those guys associated w/ that group are slime balls; and here it is…the first one drops!

  • Huh- if someone was willing to bribe over taxis, I’m sure no one was willing to bribe to get the city council to eliminate the vacant property tax.

  • Anonymous Says:
    September 24th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I wouldn’t take the under on that….

  • So I found out this morning that I live across the hall from this guy….when I was jolted out of bed by the sound of federal agents banging on his door demanding that he open it before they kicked it down.

    He seemed like a nice enough guy, would always nod hello when we passed each other in the hall. Dressed nicely too. Also, if I remember correctly, he had some renovations done to his condo last Spring. I guess that explains why he told the briber that he’s only taking the money because he “needed” it.

  • Cardozomite, of course it does. Obama now knows he’s only $1500 away from a sweet named park. cha-ching

  • CM Jim Graham is a good guy, hope he is not a part of this sting. Let’s check all of the facts before we execute the C o S. Looks like he has been ACKRONed

  • This town needs to go [back] under control of the Fed. It probably won’t make all the corruption go away, but it will definitely make it a little less low-rent than the corruption we have now. Between crackhead Barry, bribary in OCTO, Harriette Walters multi-million dollar theft, Mendelson’s coddling of criminals, and now this, which I’m almost certain will turn out to be bigger and go up the food chain…

  • JG wouldn’t risk his career over $1500. He’s got mayoral aspirations, and once you’re mayor of DC, you can just hire your best buddy as AG, and write checks for whatever you want. Who needs bribes?

  • Council Member Graham almost certainly had to know that this stuff was going on. It happened right under his nose, for Pete’s sake. Now as to whether he’s implicated or charged with anything is another matter altogether.

  • Right, I fully expect my fellow W1 residents to sweep a fundamentalist christian republican into power at the next election.

  • Does it really matter if he knew this was going on? There probably will never be a smoking gun, so you have to ask yourself, ” If I was in his position, could I have done a better job with my staff and a better job with the city over the past 10 years?” If so, the only thing to do is vote him out next go around.

    If all you do is constituent services, you’re not really doing anything for the city. You’re just taking up space.

    Any bureaucracy will degenerate to the least amount of work necessary if you don’t keep on top of it’s leaders. DC has a big hole to climb out of and JG is just letting time pass without doing anything to fix the problems.

  • I don’t believe JG knows every detail about what his chief of staff does. But I also don’t believe it is a coincidence that he introduced the very same legislation merely days after the Chief of Staff takes a bribe in exchange for it.

    This, on top of the summer intern incident, will definitely be on my mind next fall when JG is up for re-election. He has a year to either sway me or prove my current suspicions are correct.

  • @ontarioroader Good thinking. Clearly the appropriate response is to take away our limited self rule, and make us be ruled again by the federal government, where everything is always above aboard and no one ever accepts bribes.

  • Let’s at least hope this kills the taxicab medallion thing. Google ‘transitional gains trap,’ to see why it won’t even benefit the cabbies. I certainly wouldn’t mind if Graham went down, too; but it’s too soon to tell how that part will play out.

  • JG does not have real mayoral aspirations.

  • He makes bad personnel choices, but Councilman Jim Graham is a devoted public servant.

    He will be re-elected easily once again as every time there’s no viable alternative.

  • There had to be some indication of a little more enthusiasm for the cab drivers from the C of S on Graham’s part. I agree his service record is complicated–he’s not a scumbag, he has kept watch over his ward pretty well.

    BUT…the metro board this definitely a stinker on his part, and a lot of the local stuff’s checkered. The question is, who would take his place?

    As for city takeover by feds? Come on–cut the mental retardation. Maybe the first time around after Barry’s comeback it was justified. It is utterly stupid now, and any suggestion’s a little head up rear, naive or racist.

  • A white gay male with possible criminal dealings? He might be crowned King of DC.

    And note this is another bust by the feds, just like with Harriet Walters, and not by our AG. How deep do we think corruption goes in this government? My guess is pretty deep.

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