- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The District’s political scene was abuzz when federal agents raided the home and offices one of the city’s most prolific campaign donors about two weeks ago. But when the feds came looking for answers from elected officials’ campaign teams, things got messy around city hall.

News broke on Tuesday that federal prosecutors are asking various D.C. officials for any records related to Jeffrey E. Thompson, his affiliates and their contributions to D.C. political campaigns since 2003.

But their activities extended into Wednesday, with council members announcing their campaigns’ receipt of subpoenas with varying deadlines to comply. The flurry of activity follows a March 2 raid on the home and offices of Mr. Thompson, an accountant and holder of a lucrative managed-care contract with the city through his D.C. Chartered Health Plan.

The highly unusual request set off mixed signals and confusion among staff and officials at the John A. Wilson Building, who were quick to note the subpoenas were directed at campaign treasurers and not the council members’ offices.

Council member Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, was upfront about the fact his campaign had received one of the U.S. attorney’s requests. His treasurer will comply with the subpoena, he said.

Later in the day, council member Yvette M. Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat, said her campaign received a subpoena on Wednesday relating to her special election in 2007 and regular election the following year. The campaign has until March 23 to fulfill the request.

“Of course, we’ll give them what they need,” she said.

By 5 p.m., council member Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, announced that his campaign had also been served. He said he learned on Wednesday afternoon that his campaign treasurers from 2006 and 2010 had received the subpoenas.

Mr. Thompson contributed 15 checks to the Mendelson campaign in 2010, Mr. Mendelson said.

“None were money orders, two were cashier checks,” he said. “Each was for $1,000 and each contributor was listed on the next report filed with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.”

Staff members for the city’s top elected officials, Mayor Vincent C. Gray and council Chairman Kwame R. Brown, said early Wednesday that their campaigns had not been served.

Council member Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, reportedly demurred on the topic at a candidates’ forum on Tuesday. Some lawmakers said their campaigns had not received anything and others could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Evans said he thinks some of his colleagues are being coy.

If anyone in the D.C. government is up to no good, he added, “they need to step up and say so right now. Otherwise, this is going to be a long, drawn-out process.”

Council member Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, declined to say whether his campaign received a subpoena. He said it is not appropriate for him, or anyone else, to comment on an ongoing investigation.

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