The Driver’s Seat

The Driver's Seat

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty told his DC Metropolitan Police driver to take a hike a few years back, saying he would drive his city-owned Lincoln Navigator himself. He even bought a cute little high-efficiency Smart Car to drive when he doesn’t need the SUV.

Nikita Stewart writes in today’s Washington Post that the Mayor now lets government contractor Keith P. Lomax drive him around town in that DC-owned Lincoln, in violation of government regulations.  Mr. Lomax, a former college  basketball player, was a substitute teacher at young Adrian Fenty’s parochial high school. 

Asked if Mr. Lomax, who is not a DC officer or employee,  was legally permitted to drive a city-owned vehicle, the Mayor replied “He is if I let him.” City Auditor Deborah K. Nichols disagreed, explaining that the regulations against this protect the District Government from legal risk.

Some may be surprised by Mr. Fenty’s attitude, or puzzled that the Mayor uses an SUV to commute between home and his Smart Car commuter vehicle (he parks it at the Wilson Building).  Few who live here are surprised to learn that Mr. Lomax’s firm has received $11 million in city contracts since his pal became Mayor, and that the firm has donated thousands to the Fenty re-election campaign.

When it comes to DC Government, contractors and developers are usually in the driver’s seat. 

Expect more on this issue tomorrow.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

2 Responses to “The Driver’s Seat”

  1. Wrong Turn Leads to Dirt Road « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] Mayor Adrian Fenty let pal Keith P. Lomax drive his city-owned SUV to a sports event and defended this by saying, essentially, “It’s legal if I say it […]

  2. Speedy … but ‘Smart’? « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] only is DC Mayor Adrian Fenty still using his city-owned Lincoln Navigator luxury SUV, but his well-publicized city-owned “Smart Car” is just another perk tossed to a […]

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