Mr. Brown, a minor mayoral candidate, has long held that he was paid by the Gray campaign and promised a job in the administration to stay in the race and publicly criticize incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.
Mr. Brooks has maintained a low public profile during the federal probe and has garnered the moniker of “mystery man.”
Mr. Brooks‘ brother-in-law, P. Leonard Manning, told The Washington Times in October that Mr. Brooks once worked with Bruce Bereano, a powerful Maryland lobbyist and longtime friend of Mr. Gray’s who was at the time a consultant for lottery firm GTECH. The firm denied ever directly engaging with Mr. Brooks.
Mr. Manning, a well-connected businessman who ran the D.C. Lottery for more than 25 years, said that while working in the lottery business Mr. Brooks met Lorraine Green, a close confidante of the mayor’s, who then headed the D.C. Lottery Commission and partnered with GTECH in a failed bid on the city’s lottery contract.
Mr. Brown claimed Ms. Green, a former Amtrak executive, participated in the payment scheme, although she has not been charged with any wrongdoing. She told D.C. Council members investigating Mr. Gray’s hiring practices last year that she had a “close, personal relationship” with Mr. Brooks.
Mr. Brooks declined to testify in front of the D.C. Council committee, citing his Fifth Amendment rights. A WUSA-TV (Channel 9) report in October said Mr. Brooks was cooperating with authorities and wore a wire to record conversations for prosecutors.
A source with knowledge of the investigation said Mr. Brooks also might have been charged with making donations under another person’s name had he not cooperated with investigators.
After Mr. Gray won the 2010 election, Mr. Brooks‘ son, Peyton Brooks, was hired for a $110,000-a-year job in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The younger Brooks later resigned amid the federal probe.
Howard Brooks‘ attorney, Glenn F. Ivey, declined to comment Wednesday.