DMV Daily: Strike Three for DYRS

Hildum is third to leave D.C. agency this year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The interim head of the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, Robert Hildum, has submitted his resignation after just six months in charge of the troubled agency.

    The Washington Post reports Hildum “had hoped to be named permanent director” by incoming mayor Vincent Gray, but last week reportedly “received a letter inviting him to apply for the permanent job -- a sign that he was unlikely to be Gray’s choice to lead the agency.”

    DCist notes that Hildum was the third person to lead DYRS in 2010 alone -- Vinny Schiraldi quit in January, and his successor Marc Schindler was fired by Mayor Adrian Fenty in July. Hildum hopes to return to the D.C. Office of the Attorney General, “where he used to work in the public safety unit before taking the job at DYRS.”

    But the Washington Examiner says that’s no sure thing, either: That gig is “an at-will job, said assistant attorney general Steven Anderson, who heads the union that represents the office’s attorneys,” which means whomever succeeds Peter Nickles as the city’s top lawyer “will likely want to pick his or her own staff.”

    Elsewhere in the DMV:

    * Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. is getting a little tired of being the Post’s punching bag. Thomas once again makes the odd argument that the Post editorial page is engaging in an “inappropriate venture into investigative journalism” by regularly digging into his Team Thomas nonprofit. (Would he rather have the Post’s experienced investigative reporters on the case?)

    Thomas says the Post’s “insinuation of a quid pro quo” regarding a developer’s donation to Team Thomas and the later passage of helpful legislation “is ludicrous,” saying that the “true winners are the residents of Ward 5, who will soon have greater retail shopping opportunities near their homes.”

    Washington City Paper says the D.C. Republican Party yesterday “submitted Form 3949a to the IRS, telling the feds they think Team Thomas broke federal tax laws.”

    * DCist says Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells plans to press for tax hikes next year. Under his plan, taxes would go up anywhere from 0.25 percent to a full 1 percent based on income levels. “I will definitely push my proposal,” Wells says.

    * If you drive a Jaguar -- or any car, for that matter -- in D.C., it’s probably not a good idea to leave the keys in the ignition. Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry learned this the hard way when someone drove off in his silver Jag Saturday morning, the Post reports. D.C. police recovered the car Tuesday, and it’s back with its owner. The Examiner notes that “this is not the first time Barry has claimed to be a victim of crime. In 2007, he reported that he had an expensive collection of watches and cuff links stolen from his home.”

    * City Paper reports incoming D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown “owes a Texas-based collections agency $5,661.43 for unpaid debt on a Citibank credit card,” according to a lawsuit filed in October.

    * Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans “took center stage Sunday -- not in a debate or on the Council dais but as a character in The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Warner,” the Georgetown Dish reports.

    * The Examiner says Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief Alfred Durham “is sitting on nearly $200,000 worth of sick leave despite a two-year absence from the department and has been receiving an extra $20,000 a year in his paycheck that he is not entitled to.” MPD “is now auditing the payment records of all of its approximately 5,000 employees to determine whether the 10 percent pay bump” that was not eligible for was also given to other employees.

    * The U.S. House voted last night to permit D.C. and U.S. territories to each erect one statue in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who sought to get the same two statues allocated to each state, lauded Republican Rep. Dan Lungren, who was responsible for limiting the District to just one. “I am grateful [to Lungren] for offering his companion bill to my own statue bill and for his strong support for this bill,” Norton said. “The unanimous support the statue bill received during our floor debate, passing without opposition, gives us momentum as the bill moves to the Senate.”

    * The Gazette says the Montgomery County Council’s “prevailing philosophy of moderation and fairness will help make some of the difficult decisions” to overcome a swelling deficit “more palatable.” But the Baltimore Sun says it was immoderate of Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett to tell Gov. Martin O’Malley “that the county that provided so many of the votes to re-elect him governor should not be regarded as the ‘ATM machine for the rest of Maryland.’” The Sun says it is understandable that Leggett “doesn’t want state aid reduced next year and his own county budget woes worsened. … But how disappointing for him to adopt the inflammatory language of a raging parochial.”

    * Baltimore Business Journal says Maryland tax revenue estimates “are edging up for the first time in three years helped by rising expectations for corporate and sales taxes.”

    * The Post says Gov. Bob McDonnell’s failure to give legislative Republicans an advance tipoff about his proposal to borrow about $3 billion for transportation improvements may have cost him some much-needed support.

    * D.C. blogger “Carlos in D.C.,” known for being outspoken on immigration and other controversial matters, claims Google censored his Blogger blog.

    * Incoming U.S. House Speaker John Boehner really likes at Guapo’s Mexican Restaurant in Shirlington Village -- he’s been there at least twice in the past month or so, according to Shirlington Village Blogspot.

    * D.C. middle schoolers strived for Scrabble glory at the School Scrabble Capitol Cup last weekend.

    * “Twelve workers sleeping, 11 fares a-rising, 10 breaks a-smokin’” -- happy holidays from Unsuck D.C. Metro!

    * So what does Mike Rizzo say about players he doesn’t respect?

    Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC