Graham Supports Woman's Right to "Choose" - NBC4 Washington

Graham Supports Woman's Right to "Choose"

E-mail defends one City Paper criticism



    Meet a Former Radio City Rockette Who Got Her Life Back

    WASHINGTON -- D.C. Councilman Jim Graham commented Friday on questions about his relationship with his chief of staff, Ted Loza, following Loza's arrest on bribery charges last week.

    Though he didn't say much in an e-mail to his ward, he did defend his decision to pay for an abortion for a woman Loza allegedly impregnated.

    In December 2005, while on a holiday junket to El Salvador, Loza had sex with a 26-year-old woman there. After Loza returned to Washington, the woman learned she was pregnant and informed Loza, who, according to court documents, arranged for her to come to D.C. on a tourist visa.

    As Washington City Paper reported, Graham put the $3,200 abortion on his personal credit card and said the money was paid back promptly.

    "When loved ones, friends or colleagues make mistakes I don't turn my back to them," Graham wrote to his constituents. "I do my best to help with support, healing and learning."

    Graham's e-mail didn't address allegations in court records that Loza assaulted the woman, sexually and otherwise, on multiple occasions and that he coerced the woman into having an abortion she didn't want, the City Paper reported.

    "I have always supported a woman's right to choice," Graham wrote.

    The woman declined to comment.

    How many mistakes can the councilman allow his chief of staff to make before Graham's own judgment is deemed just as poor?