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D.C. councilman regrouping on stolen goods bill

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder,D.C. Council,Tommy Wells

D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells withdrew emergency legislation Tuesday that would have given the city the power to strip businesses of their licenses if they were found to be selling stolen goods.

Wells, the Ward 6 lawmaker who chairs the council's public safety committee, said he wanted to work with Mayor Vincent Gray to craft a stronger bill.

"We're going to work together on the permanent bill, and I'll be pulling back the emergency today so that I will have the full support of the administration," said Wells, who is considering a run for mayor next year.

Wells' proposal called for city officials to have the authority to suspend a business' license if they believed a store "had cause to believe, or could have ascertained by reasonable inquiry or investigation that the property was stolen."

Businesses would have been allowed to appear before the Office of Administrative Hearings within days to seek restoration of their licenses.

"When I found out that local businesses are selling stolen phones of their own customers, I was furious, and I moved quickly," Wells said. "And it really did seem to move the administration quickly as well. I'm satisfied that we're going to get a good permanent bill, and I appreciate the administration coming on board to work with me so quickly."

Wells introduced a permanent version of his legislation Tuesday morning.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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