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The scandal-plagued D.C. Council has selected veteran legislator Phil Mendelson as its interim chairman.  Mendelson replaces Kwame Brown, who pleaded guilty to bank fraud last week and resigned. Brown was the second councilmember to leave office in disgrace this year.

The council voted unanimously Wednesday to install Mendelson as interim chairman. He’ll serve as the district’s second-highest local elected official until a special election in November. The winner of that election will serve the remainder of Brown’s term, which runs through 2014, and Mendelson intends to run.  If Mayor Vincent Gray were to leave office, Mendelson would become the first white mayor in the city’s history.