Council Chair's SUVs in a Gray Area

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Vincent Gray says Kwame Brown's two leased SUV's will be returned. (Published Wednesday, Feb 23, 2011)

    D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray addressed the controversy surrounding two expensive SUVs leased for Council Chairman Kwame Brown, but there still was confusion Wednesday.

    At a Gray news conference Wednesday, reporters demanded to know what was being done with the two SUVs. Brown said Tuesday he would return one Lincoln Navigator after learning it was costing the city almost $2,000 per month. Almost as expensive, though, was the first Lincoln Navigator that was ordered for Brown, which he rejected because of the color of the interior. That Navigator remains a part of the city's fleet.

    Attorney General Irvin Nathan said one SUV was being returned to the leasing company -- with the city paying for the time it was used and any lease cancellation fees -- which led to questions about the other SUV. Gray apparently spoke off the microphone that he thought both SUVs were being returned.

    Noting the mayor's wish, Nathan said both SUVs would be returned. As the mayor's office controls city leasing, that's the likely outcome.

    Still, that could cost thousands in cancellation fees. There's a provision in all government contracts that the government can cancel contracts at its convenience, Nathan said, but cancellation fees still apply.