Taxi Probe of Graham's Aide Runs Deep - NBC4 Washington

Taxi Probe of Graham's Aide Runs Deep

Taxi industry under investigation

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    A source familiar with the bribery investigation of D.C. Councilman Jim Graham's chief of staff and the city's taxi industry confirmed to NBCWashington that the probe extends beyond Ted Loza into the taxi industry itself.

    The source told NBC reporter Tom Sherwood that investigators were looking at "a pattern" of possible payoffs and favors beyond those mentioned in the Loza arrest and dating back for more than a year.

    Loza, a longtime aide to Graham, was arrested Thursday for accepting $1,500 in two bribes and free trips in exchange for promoting taxicab legislation.

    Graham recently postponed a public hearing on new taxicab legislation after some council members expressed worry that it was suspect.

    The latest legislation, sponsored by Graham, would put a limit on the number of taxis allowed on D.C. streets and could institute a medallion system like the one used in New York City.

    Graham's opposition, meanwhile, has wasted no time in using Loza's arrest to their advantage. In robocalls sponsored by the D.C. Republican Committee, a woman mentions Loza's arrest, notes that "this is the second time a member of Jim Graham's staff has been arrested" and then adds, "We need anyone but Jim Graham in 2010."

    The Ward 1 Councilmember, who said Loza told him about the FBI investigation, has denied any personal wrongdoing in the matter.

    "I have had no engagement whatsoever in any illegal or unethical behaviors," he said.