The Night Note: 9/23/10

News you need to know.

By Brendan Williams-Kief
|  Thursday, Sep 23, 2010  |  Updated 10:31 PM EDT
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The Night Note: A Hostess, A Politician and the FBI

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The following stories are brought to you by the fine folks on the News4 assignment desk.

MCDONNELL BLAMES KAINE FOR UNSPENT VDOT FUNDS
An audit that will show mismanagement at the Virginia Department of Transportation will be released Thursday afternoon.

Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton told WTOP the audit will result in major changes in the transportation agency, as WTOP first reported earlier this month.

"The biggest issue we are looking at is financial management," Connaughton told WTOP. (WTOP)

NORTON BLASTED BY NY TIMES FOR FUNDRAISING
The New York Times' David Brooks, a Ward 3 resident, criticizes D.C.'s Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton for shaking down a government contractor for a campaign donation in a piece online.

David Brooks: I think there’s been an accumulation of small corruption [in Congress]. Standards have eroded. That which was once hidden is now normal and above board. That brings me to Eleanor Holmes Norton. As you may have seen, Norton left a message on a lobbyist’s voicemail that was leaked to a conservative Web site and now stands as the scandal of the week. (Georgetown Dish)

SCANDAL: DC HOSTESS, A POL AND THE FBI
The scandal now surrounding Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is mostly a scandal about money. But as with so many other political imbroglios, there is also a woman in the story.

She is Giovana Huidobro, a hostess at Ozio lounge on M Street NW, whom -- according to a new report from the Chicago Sun-Times -- the FBI interviewed last year while trying to determine if the Chicago Democrat asked a major fundraiser to pay then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for appointing him to a U.S. Senate seat.

Why Huidobro? Because the fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, told investigators he twice paid for Huidobro to fly from Washington to Chicago at Jackson's request, the Sun-Times reported. (The Washington Post)

DC FIRE DEPARTMENT BUSTS OVERTIME BUDGET BY $4 MILLION
The District's fire and emergency medical services department is set to bust its overtime budget by about $4 million and is not ready to comply with regulations coming next week that are designed to cut the agency's OT spending, officials told The Washington Examiner.

The agency's spending beyond its limits on overtime has been an issue for many years. Last spring, the D.C. Council stepped in and passed regulations meant to limit fire and EMS overtime spending in fiscal year 2011, which starts Oct. 1.

On Thursday, fire officials are scheduled to go in front of at-large Councilman Phil Mendelson's public safety committee to answer questions on their plans for meeting the new overtime-limiting regulations. "We're going to ask for a road map from them to which we can hold them accountable in the coming months," Mendelson told The Examiner. (Washington Examiner)

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