‘Fully Loaded’ SUV Puts D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown on the Spot

February 21, 2011  |  

(Washington Post) — Several weeks after Kwame R. Brown was elected D.C. Council chairman in November, city officials were asked to order for him a “fully loaded” Lincoln Navigator L with a DVD entertainment system, power moonroof and polished aluminum wheels.  It had to be black – all black, inside and out – and it had to arrive in time for his inauguration Jan. 2, never mind the District’s projected $400 million budget shortfall.

Later, when he was asked on television why taxpayers should foot the $1,900-a-month lease payments, Brown (D) said he had merely requested a black sport-utility vehicle and was driving the vehicle that the District had procured for him.  E-mails written by members of his staff and city officials – and obtained by The Washington Post through the Freedom of Information Act – tell a different story, beginning with a Department of Public Works solicitation in November for a 2011 Lincoln Navigator L series, an extended-wheelbase version of the Navigator. The e-mail specified “Fully Loaded Required” and indicated that the vehicle was being sought at Brown’s request.

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