View Full Version : Ex-Congressional aide found dead in burning car near W.H. official's home

Ed Jewett
01-10-2011, 06:17 PM
Breaking: Ex-Congressional aide found dead in burning car near W.H. official's home (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47367.html) 10 Jan 2011 A veteran Congressional aide who worked most recently as a lobbyist [Progress Energy Inc.] and was married to White House legislative affairs senior official was found dead in her car Monday behind the couple’s Capitol Hill home following a low-speed car crash and subsequent fire. Ashley Turton, whose husband, Dan, is the White House’s deputy director of legislative affairs for the U.S. House, died in the early-morning incident in the garage behind 800 A Street, NE, friends, her employer and Congressional leadership aides said. City fire and police units responded to the vicinity of the home at about 5 A.M. Monday, according to fire department spokesman Pete Piringer.

Peter Lemkin
01-10-2011, 08:02 PM
Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 01/10/2011
Ashley Turton, former Hill aide, dead in burning car
By Paul Duggan Washington Post

The wife of a key White House aide was found dead early Monday in a sport-utility vehicle that was heavily damaged by fire in the garage of the couple's Capitol Hill home, sources familiar with the incident said. The cause of her death is uncertain.

Ashley W. Turton, 37, an energy company lobbyist and former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), was found dead shortly before 5 a.m. in a burning BMW, the back end of which was partly out of the garage, as if the vehicle had been entering or leaving when the fire started, authorities said.

From the scene. (Gerry Martineau/Post)

Authorities said her death appears to have resulted from a low-speed crash, an unknown medical condition, the fire, or some combination of the three.

"We have no evidence of any obvious malfeasance in her death at this time," said Capt. Michael Farish, of the D.C. police homicide unit. The department's major crash unit is handling most of the investigation for the police department.

Turton was the wife of Daniel A. Turton, 43, the White House's deputy director of legislative affairs for the U.S. House. As such, he is President Obama's point man on legislation moving through the House.

He and Ashley Turton, who have three children, were a Washington power couple well known in Democratic circles. She was a lobbyist for North Carolina-based Progress Energy, which announced a merger Monday with Duke Energy.

"Ashley was a valued employee whose insight and hard work had been critical on so many of our legislative and regulatory issues," Bill Johnson, president and chief executive of the company, said in a statement. "She was also a dear friend to many of us and this news is very hard to take."

Pete Piringer, a D.C. fire department spokesman, said neighbors near the couple's two-story brick house at 800 A Street SE called for help about 4:50 a.m. after they saw flames spewing from the garage, which faces Eighth Street SE at the rear of the house. He said firefighters found a burning vehicle facing into the garage with a dead body in it.

Real estate records show Daniel Turton purchased the house for $826,000 in 2003.

A source familiar with the incident, speaking on the condition of anonymity because it is still under investigation, said the SUV was "about seven-eighths of the way" into the garage and was stopped "at a weird angle." He said the vehicle was heavily damaged by fire, but said he could not discuss the condition of the body.

Most of the smoke and fire damage was contained to the garage, according to Piringer, who said an adult male and several children in the house were unharmed. He said no 911 call came from the house and it is possible that the man and children were unaware of what had happened until firefighters arrived.

The cause of the fire and the woman's death are under investigation by D.C. police, the medical examiner's office and fire department investigators, Piringer said.

David Guyatt
01-11-2011, 09:50 AM

Magda Hassan
01-11-2011, 10:06 AM
All rather odd. I wonder what sort of 'Legislative Affairs' husband was involved with?

Peter Lemkin
01-11-2011, 11:23 AM
Ashley Turton, wife of Dan Turton, White House liaison to the House of Representatives, dies in ablaze car in her Capitol Hill garage. Washington Metro Police spokesman calls incident "freaky." Oh, after Jack Wheeler, Gabrielle Giffords, and Judge John Roll, it's just another "Morning in America." Move along folks, nothing to see here. Post script: Ashley Turton was chief of staff to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), wife of BP lobbyist Stan Greenberg.

Peter Lemkin
01-18-2011, 08:15 AM
When she died, Turton was the lead Congressional lobbyist for Progress Energy.

According to the WSJ article on Turton’s death, Progress Energy was represented by BRACEWELL & GIULIANI (yes, that Giuliani). Turton personally knew people at the law firm.

According to the WSJ article, Turton personally played a role in the merger, overseen by Bracewell & Giuliani.


Ed Jewett
01-20-2011, 03:53 AM
moved to the proper thread (doh):


Ed Jewett
01-21-2011, 03:48 AM
Ashley Turton�s suspicious death leaves probing questions
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 20, 2011, 00:17

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(WMR (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/)) -- Progress Energy lobbyist and ex-chief of staff to Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ashley Westbrook Turton, opened the door of her BMW suburban utility vehicle a few minutes before 5 am on January 10. The 37-year old mother of three young children, including twin boys, and the wife of Dan Turton, President Obama�s chief liaison to the House of Representatives, was on her way to work. Later that day, an announcement would come from Duke Power that it was buying Progress Energy for $26 billion, creating the largest power utility in the United States.
Ashley Turton would never make it to work that day. Turton�s car was engulfed in flames after she turned the ignition. The Washington Metropolitan Police Department, which can always be counted on to come up with the best fiction any time there is a suspicious death with political implications, surmised that Turton�s car was involved in a �low-speed� crash in her garage with a work bench that triggered a chemical fire. But to top it all off, the police said an �unknown medical condition� was also likely involved in what was described as a �freaky� accident.
Turton�s short biography in the funeral service guide reads: �Ashley Westbrook Turton was born in Greensboro, NC; graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh in 1991 and from North Carolina State University in 1997. After working for Gov. James B. Hunt in NC, Ashley came to Washington, DC, in April 2000 to work as director of communications for the Honorable Rosa DeLauro, and later became her chief of staff. Since 2007, she has been manager of Federal Affairs for Progress Energy Service Company.�
Based on the presence of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, and former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) at Turton�s funeral service on January 14 at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, there is little doubt that Turton and her husband were a �power couple� in the nation�s capital. But there was also a sense from those in attendance, including members of Ashley Turton�s family from North Carolina, that all the information about Ashley�s tragic death was not being brought forward by the police or the fire department.
In her eulogy of her former chief of staff, DeLauro spoke of someone who could exude the mannerisms of the �southern belle� but who was also politically attuned. DeLauro said that Ashley�s two favorite expressions belied her on-the-surface Southern charm: �shit fire� and �rat bastard.� DeLauro said that she had not heard such language �since Rahm Emanuel moved out of Stan�s and my basement.� DeLauro�s reference was to the rent-free use by Emanuel of her and her husband, Democratic lobbyist Stan Greenberg�s, townhouse, while Emanuel was a congressman from the Illinois 5th congressional district from 2003 to 2008.
DeLauro said she last saw Ashley Turton at her and Greenberg�s Christmas Party. DeLauro last communicated with Ashley Turton on January 5, the day the new Congress was sworn in. Ashley Turton was at a political event in Arizona where featured speakers included Democratic pollster and lobbyist James Carville, Greenberg�s business partner, and Karl Rove, the chief political adviser to President George W. Bush. Ashley Turton indicated to DeLauro that while she would probably attend Carville�s session, she probably would not bother with Rove�s.
Ashley Turton�s friends described in Turton a person who had an appetite for possible gossip. In some cases, while discussing a juicy bit of political rumor, Ashley Turton would tell her friends, usually over a glass of wine, that �this conversation needs to go out on the porch.� Ashley Turton confided in a close friend that she wanted to leave Washington and return to North Carolina to raise her family.
Considering Ashley Turton�s job as DeLauro�s chief of staff, legislative aide, and press secretary for a number of years; Emanuel�s use of DeLauro�s townhouse while he was a member of the House and in charge of doling out or withholding Democratic Party funds to candidates around the country; the presence of Greenberg�s partner Carville and Rove at the Arizona political confab attended by Ashley Turton�s just five days before her suspicious death, the question will always remain: What �juicy gossip� might have Ashley Turton taken with her to the grave?

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/).

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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/) (subscription required).
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Ed Jewett
01-21-2011, 08:03 PM
"Soros is a major investor in Duke Power and Progressive Energy where the main thrust is in nuclear power which may help explain why Soros and the Obama administration recently changed to supporting Nuclear. Both Soros and the US Import-Export bank are also investing heavily in Brazilian off-shore drilling though Democrats have generally resisted both nuclear and off-shore drilling.

Ashley Turton was previously Chief of Staff for Rosa D. DeLauro (D.-CT), whose husband is a lobbyist for BP. Rosa DeLauro co-signed Giffords' Technology Road Map Act of 2009 (HR3585) which was passed by the House but died in the Senate. This Bill gives a lot of advantage to solar which puts rep. Giffords and Christopher Smith, Chair of the Arizonia Technology Council (recently found shot in his car), in opposition to Soros."