- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 26, 2012

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown is donating $17,000 in contributions his campaign received from a D.C. contractor now at the center of a fundraising scandal in Washington embroiling D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray.

The move Thursday comes days after Gov. Martin O’Malley donated $38,000 in donations tied to Jeffrey E. Thompson, while some but not all fellow prominent Democrats also moved to get rid of Thompson-linked cash.

Federal agents looking into campaign-finance wrongdoing in the District raided Mr. Thompson’s offices and home earlier this year. After the raid, he left the accounting firm and health plan he owned that had won hundreds of millions of dollars in city contracts over the years.

Dozens of local and federal politicians have happily accepted Mr. Thompson’s donations, but lately Mr. Gray has been under the sharpest scrutiny over ties to the contractor. In recent weeks, Eugenia Harris, an aide in Mr. Gray’s 2010 campaign, pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington to helping orchestrate a massive straw-donor scam. Mr. Thompson was not named in court papers, nor has he been charged, but his name and those of his businesses were included in a subpoena sent to D.C. lawmakers from the U.S. attorney’s office seeking details about campaign fundraising.

A spokesman for Mr. Brown said the campaign is donating contributions it received from Mr. Thompson and three of his businesses — RapidTrans, Chartered Family Health Services and Thompson Cobb Bazilio & Associates.

Mr. Brown, widely regarded as a likely gubernatorial candidate, is donating the contributions from the four donors to two charities — the Prince George’s Community College Foundation and the Associated Black Charities, said Brown spokesman Marc Goldberg.

Mr. Thompson, his businesses and associates have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local and federal candidates over the years, ranging from D.C. school board members, such as Robert C. Bobb, to President Obama. Republicans also have benefited. The Republican National Congressional Committee received $25,000 from Mr. Thompson in 2004, but it has not said whether it will donate or return the cash.

Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee received a $10,000 donation from Mr. Thompson last year, but officials recently said they were returning the money. Within days, Mr. O’Malley and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who is running for the U.S. Senate, moved to dump Thompson-tied contributions.

But other politicians, mostly in Washington, have decided to keep Mr. Thompson’s cash, including D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who received about $50,000 from Mr. Thompson and his associates and their family members over the years.