Skip to content

Heard on the Hill: Capitol Hill’s Dumbest Criminals

Capitol Police made two intoxicating arrests last week, and HOH is leaving it up to you, dear reader, to pick which arrestee is most deserving of the coveted title of “Capitol Hill’s Dumbest Criminal.”

[IMGCAP(1)]First, there’s the case of 27-year-old Jamelia Washington, who apparently got lost driving on Capitol Hill at about 2:15 a.m. on July 3. Seeking directions, Washington flagged down a Capitol Police officer stationed on the 200 block of Third Street Southwest, according to a police summary.

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and HOH is sure the officer on duty would have been only too happy to help Washington find her destination. Except that the officer quickly noticed that Washington’s car had expired tags … and that her breath bore a “strong odor of alcohol”

The officer administered a field sobriety test and “due to numerous clues of impairment,” (um, perhaps like driving up to a police officer after you’ve knocked a few back?) Washington was arrested. Officers also found marijuana in the vehicle.

Then there’s the case of 20-year-old Otis Massey III. A Capitol Police officer spotted Massey asleep in his vehicle, which was parked at 300 Massachusetts Ave. NE, at about 4 a.m. on Saturday, according to police. It’s perhaps not the best place to catch a snooze, but the officer might have let Massey go about his business had there not have been “a baggie with a green leafy substance in plain view,” according to the police summary. That substance was found to be marijuana, and Massey was arrested.

Massey and Washington, both District residents, were charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession.

And, as they say on that bastion of dumb criminals, the TV show COPS, both are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Play Ball! Ten All-Star Game appearances, four Gold Gloves, one World Series championship. Those are just a few of the accomplishments racked up by former Los Angeles Dodger and San Diego Padre Steve Garvey over a career that spanned nearly two decades.

But will any of that compare to throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the 47th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game on July 17 in Nationals Park?

We’ll find out.

No word yet if the man who once sported a .996 fielding percentage and played 193 consecutive errorless innings at first base will stick around to coach the notoriously error-prone Members of Congress who play in the annual charity event.

It also remains unclear if he’ll be booed by any longtime New York Yankees or Chicago Cubs fans who still might hold a grudge for the misery he caused them in 1981 and 1984.

In 1981, Garvey helped lead the Dodgers to a World Series title over the Yankees. In 1984, Garvey’s game-winning, ninth-inning home run in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series helped the Padres win a pennant and advance to their first World Series appearance.

An Unconventional Veep. All that veep-stakes speculation around whom Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will choose as his running mate? Forget it — HOH has your answer right here: It’s Mary Margaret Overbey.

OK, so she doesn’t have national name recognition or even political ambitions. But a group of in-the-know political operatives think the former office manager who served Al Gore in his days in the Senate and the vice president’s office is just the right person for the ticket.

Overbey was a write-in candidate in a poll taken among 35 former Gore staffers who gathered for a reunion on Wednesday at downtown eatery Ceiba, HOH hears. Of the possible No. 2 choices listed on the secret ballots, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) came in first, followed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). But Overbey, who retired in 2000, beat them all as a write-in favorite. (Gore, whose name was also on the list, didn’t even crack the top three.)

HOH has to say that the choice would be a bold, if unconventional, one, and Overbey, who also worked for Hubert Humphrey in his Senate and VP offices, would certainly lend the Obama ticket a little age and experience.

The event was organized by David Thomas of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti and scheduled for the 16th anniversary of the date when President Bill Clinton selected Gore as his running mate. The group included Matt Bennett of Third Way; Jano Cabrera of Burson-Marsteller; Jim Free of the Smith Free Group; Wendy Hartman, a staffer to House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.); Audrey Haynes of the YMCA; Jeff Nussbaum and Paul Orzulak of the West Wing Writers; Betsy Mullins of TechNet; author Dan Pink; and Trooper Sanders from the Clinton Foundation.

The Gore alums have formed an informal group dubbed the “Caney Fork and Spoon Club,” named in honor of the Caney Fork River, which runs near the Gore family farm in Carthage, Tenn.

And the best part about the poll? “There was no recount,” an attendee tells HOH.

Kids Rule the CVC. The monthly House oversight hearing on the Capitol Visitor Center is usually a snooze-inducing session with highlights that include haggling over details such as whether a stairwell needs a handrail and how much a piece of pavement costs.

But a pint-sized visitor lightened the mood at Tuesday’s hearing and possibly even helped to thaw the sometimes-frosty relationship between two of the meeting’s principals.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-Fla.) daughter strolled into the meeting and took a seat next to her mother at the head of the table. Nine-year-old Rebecca Schultz ceremoniously ended the meeting with a smile and a tap of the gavel.

And while Wasserman Shultz has been known to be an effective diplomat as head of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, it seems her daughter might one day surpass her skills.

Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse — who recently sparred with Wasserman Schultz over the price of police radios and is no stranger to her sometimes-sharp questioning — took a pin from his uniform and handed it to Rebecca.

The pin, he told her, has been on his uniform for decades.

Rebecca took it with a smile and, after a reminder from her mother, a thank you.

Cute, sure. But will the gesture be enough to loosen Wasserman Schultz’s tight grip on the police budget?

News You Can Use. Avoiding the hordes of picture-snapping tourists while traveling from one side of the Capitol to the other is a daily challenge for many a Hill staffer. HOH can’t magically make the out-of-town folks disappear, but she can tell you there is a new way to avoid them — or at least the welcome return of an old way — to do just that.

Architect of the Capitol officials have reopened the East Front basement corridor that connects the House and Senate wings of the Capitol. The revamped hallway, which had been closed for years for construction, officially reopened on June 30, according to AOC spokeswoman Eva Malecki.

So head below ground if you need to get somewhere quickly — and with a much smaller chance of spotting a fanny pack.

Spotted: Barr, Not Barred. Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) might be getting all the attention, but another presidential contender also was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

HOH spotted Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr walking toward the Capitol at the intersection of Louisiana Avenue Northwest and North Capitol Street, flanked by a camera crew.

The cameras helped Barr stand out, and a fan even stopped the former Georgia Representative in the middle of the intersection to chat. Barr obliged, telling the supporter his Washington, D.C., campaign office would open in the coming days.

A Barr spokeswoman tells HOH that he’s typically in D.C. each week for various commitments. On Wednesday, Barr was on a media blitz, appearing on C-SPAN and Fox News and chatting with HDNet for an election special.

David M. Drucker and Emily Yehle contributed to this report.

Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.

Recent Stories

The number Haley, Trump need to worry about heading into Super Tuesday

Biden cracks down on personal data sales to China, Russia

Senate Judiciary panel to hear about federal inmate deaths

It’s still a Biden referendum. That’s not good for him

Biden, leaders optimistic about avoiding shutdown, press Johnson on Ukraine

Supreme Court to hear arguments on Trump-era ‘bump stock’ rule