- Ben Carson: America’s now ‘very much like Nazi Germany’
- Heroin found on N.J. toddler at day care
- Pistorius trial: Police conduct faces scrutiny
- Gaza militants fire large rocket barrage at Israel
- CBO chief: Projected job loss numbers from minimum wage hike are fluid
- Rep. Rangel: ‘No question’ Harlem explosion is result of gas leak, not terrorism
- Dog left in car blasts horn for 15 minutes
- DCCC chair hopes Alex Sink will run again in November
- U.S., allies threaten ‘further action’ against Russia
- Obama to order businesses to hike overtime pay for salary workers
Gray under cloud in campaign fraud case
Aide helped fund opposing candidate
Federal prosecutors dealt a major blow to D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Tuesday, validating high-profile claims by a minor 2010 candidate that Mr. Gray’s campaign paid him to bash incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty during the race.
The prosecution’s case against Thomas W. Gore, a senior aide to Mr. Gray’s 2010 campaign, outlined several payments to Sulaimon Brown, who also claimed he was promised a city job he received in the Gray administration before his firing for poor performance and behavior.
Gore, 56, admitted in federal court that he helped another campaign staffer make donations totaling $660 to Mr. Brown’s campaign - using the names of people who did not make the donations - before destroying a notebook that outlined the payments. Gore said he abetted the process by providing campaign funds.
He pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges of making fraudulent campaign donations and a felony count of obstruction of justice.
“In 2010, the voters of the District of Columbia were deceived,” said U.S. Attorney for the District Ronald C. Machen Jr. “Envelopes stuffed with fraudulent money orders prevented the public from knowing that one mayoral campaign was secretly financing the campaign of an opposing candidate.”
Gore is the first person to be charged in a long-running federal probe of Mr. Gray’s campaign activities, an investigation that overshadowed the mayor’s first year in office. The fervor around the probe subsided for a time before a raid on a prolific political donor’s home and offices in March reignited interest in how his 2010 campaign raised money and conducted its affairs.
Gore served as the Gray campaign’s assistant treasurer, yet he has been described as the go-to contact for financial matters during the race. He also worked on Mr. Gray’s 2004 run for Ward 7 member of the D.C. Council and 2006 run for council chairman.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly told Gore he faced up to 20 years in prison for the felony, but that guidelines call for a sentence of 12 to 18 months based on his lack of a criminal record and potential to cooperate with investigators.
In court, Gore was forced to confirm the names of candidates listed in charging papers, offering the first formal indication that Mr. Brown - whose credibility has been questioned because of his erratic behavior - did not fabricate the notion he was paid by at least one member of Gray’s campaign team.
Mr. Gray is scheduled to return Tuesday evening from an international shopping center convention in Las Vegas. He has referred questions to his attorney, who declined to comment when Gore’s charges came to light Monday.
The mayor has denied the allegations against him and repeatedly noted that he called for an investigation into the matter.
Mr. Brown has asserted that Mr. Gray was aware of the furtive payments. He pointed to phone records between him and the mayor and testified before the council that Mr. Gray brought him to an associate outside the Eatonville restaurant in Northwest so he could obtain an envelope full of money.
Mr. Brown has claimed that associate, Howard Brooks, made most of the payments. Although he is not named in charging papers, Mr. Brooks seems to fit with descriptions of “Person A,” who is described in court papers as a campaign staffer who recruited family members to put their names on money orders that were passed to Mr. Brown.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- House GOP sees favoritism in how Obamacare is rolled out
- Sen. Marco Rubio says Dems are angling for single-payer health care: report
- Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad wields big lead over likely Democratic opponent
- Sen. Chris Murphy will parlay Obama's foray into Web comedy into a formal floor speech
- Obamacare 3 million shy of target — with 19 days left to sign up
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- Female TSA officers say pat-down duty leads to workplace discrimination
- Deportations come mostly from border, DHS chief says
- HURT: John Kerry The ridiculous face of a ridiculous U.S. diplomacy
- Last laugh: Marine vet fires off jokes from the grave with own obituary
- Special ops forces wearing thin from high demand
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again