Capitol Convict

Posted March 1, 2005 at 6:37pm

An Arkansas man who has gone by at least four aliases and recently completed a stint in jail for using fake IDs on Capitol Hill has resurfaced. And he’s up to his old tricks. [IMGCAP(1)]

Reginald David Johnson, aka Phillip Douglas, among other names, was fired Tuesday from the League of American Bicyclists after his employers learned that Johnson is on probation after recently

being released from jail. Johnson served a portion of an 11-month sentence for impersonating a government employee when he tried to enter the Library of Congress last year. (No wonder. The fake ID he used had a picture of a female employee.)

The cycling organization hired Johnson two weeks ago as an unpaid volunteer. However, unbeknownst to his superiors, Johnson had been sending out e-mails to staff on Capitol Hill identifying himself as the deputy director of government relations for the League of American Bicyclists. He also made phone calls to offices on the Hill representing himself as the No. 2 lobbyist for the outfit.

HOH was tipped off by a source who had been contacted by Johnson and recognized the scofflaw’s name. In addition to Phillip Douglas, Johnson has also used the aliases Raymond Roger Jones, Roger Turner and David Jackson.

Officials at the League of American Bicyclists, who hired Johnson under his real name and called him “Reggie,” sent their dutiful intern to Capitol Hill over the past two weeks to hand out information on the organization’s upcoming national bike summit later this month. “It seemed like his credentials are good and this is the time of year we need help doing Hill drops,” said Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists.

Clarke said Johnson’s résumé boasted an impressive history of campaign and Congressional jobs, including a turn as a Congressional aide to Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) from June 1998 to August 1999.

Snyder told HOH that he employed Johnson, who was 29 when he was sentenced last year, as a paid intern for only one month in 1998. “He was not on my Congressional staff as a regular employee,” Snyder said.

Clarke said he was unaware of Johnson’s conviction when he brought him on board. As soon as he found out Tuesday, he terminated Johnson. Clarke told HOH it was “not appropriate to have him representing us in any capacity two weeks before our legislative event.”

“Mr. Johnson was distributing invitations to a Congressional Reception on Thursday March 17 and a bike ride on Friday, March 18. Both of these events are going ahead as advertised,” Clarke added.

Before his arrest at the Library of Congress on Feb. 3, 2004, Johnson pretended he worked on the Hill, often attending happy hours with other, actual staffers. One former Hill staffer who went to college with Johnson at the University of Central Arkansas said Johnson attended lots of events on Capitol Hill “but never had real employment up there. He kind of made up tales.”

Contacted by HOH, Johnson declined to say whether he ever worked on Capitol Hill. He said his legal name is Reginald Johnson. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia lists him as “Reginald David Johnson, a.k.a. Phillip Douglas.”

Johnson said: “I am trying to put the past behind me and move forward,” adding that he is no longer using “false IDs or false names.”

It’s a Girl! Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), is a father again. A healthy baby girl Dodd, with a full head of black hair but yet to be named, was born early Tuesday morning at a Northern Virginia hospital.

Mother Jackie is expected to bring home the new arrival, who weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces, later this week. And no one could be more excited (yeah, right) than big sister Grace Dodd, who is 3.

Despite the big day, Daddy Dodd showed up on time for two votes at 5:30 p.m. in the Senate chamber. Walking past reporters, he cracked a joke about how this delivery lacked any of the national drama accompanying the birth of his first child, who was born Sept. 13, 2001.

“This is a much more peaceful and calm environment,” Dodd quipped.

Dodd spokesman Marvin Fast said the Senator “feels like he’s got his own ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ He’s surrounded by three beautiful ladies.”

If you want to help the happy couple with a name, e-mail suggestions to hoh@rollcall.com.

Filibustering Santa? Those Scrooge-like Senate Democrats have taken their filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees to an entirely new level: They are even planning to filibuster Santa Claus. Again.

Yep, Jolly Ol’ St. Nick, it seems, is up for a seat on the federal bench.

William Myers, the solicitor to the Interior Department and nominee to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was filibustered by Democrats in the 108th Congress, and the Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday on his renomination to the appellate court. Myers is one of seven already-filibustered appellate court nominees whom Bush renominated, a move Democrats considered akin to getting lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings.

But Democrats, as well as Judiciary Republicans, didn’t realize that Myers was once Santa Claus. That fun fact was part of the massive publicly released biographical information sheet that Myers provided to the committee, which was distributed to the media at Tuesday’s hearing.

It showed that in December 1978, during his first year at the University of Denver College of Law, Myers made some extra cash by working at the May department store as Santa Claus.

That job followed his 14-month stint as assistant frozen foods and dairy manager at Ukrop’s supermarkets in his native Virginia. From there, Myers took on a series of legal jobs at firms, on Capitol Hill and in the Justice Department.

Despite his background as Santa, Myers and Senate Republicans have no reason to be hopeful that Democrats are any more fearful of being naughty this year. They made clear at Tuesday’s hearing that they are not in a giving mood and that another filibuster is very likely. And afterward, Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who oversaw the hearing for Democrats, laughed off the suggestion that Democrats would pay a price for stalling Santa.

“My comment,” Schumer deadpanned: “Ho, ho, ho.”

Shaq With the Assist. The Miami Heat’s biggest superstar, Shaquille O’Neal, will be “sworn in” on Capitol Hill this evening as an honorary deputy U.S. marshal. No, not as an early April Fool’s joke.

The Safe Surfin’ Foundation is announcing Shaq as its new spokesman to help protect kids on the Internet. Citing FBI reports that show children and teenagers stand a 100 percent chance of meeting a sexual predator in an online chat room, the foundation said, “Shaq will help to educate kids, parents and communities about the dangers of online crimes.”

Shaq will join Justice Department administrator J. Robert Flores and Virginia Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R), Virgil Goode (R) and Jim Moran (D) at a 6:30 p.m. news conference in the Longworth House Office Building.

As long as Shaq avoids dropping the F-bomb (as he did in a live television interview when he was playing for the LA Lakers), we’re sure he’ll make a fine spokesman.

Paul Kane contributed to this report.

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.