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His withdrawal came less than a month after the FBI ended their sting operation March 14, court documents indicate.

“In the public corruption cases when plea deals are being discussed, certainly the government is not going to let an official stay in office,” Mr. Donath said. “I think it’s safe to assume that any plea deal would require him to drop out of the race.”

The charge comes after former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown resigned and pleaded guilty to bank fraud last year. Former council member Harry Thomas Jr. resigned from his Ward 5 seat and pleaded guilty last year to stealing $350,000 in public funds intended for youth sports programs.

A federal investigation into the 2010 campaign of Mayor Vincent C. Gray is ongoing.

“The D.C. Council has proven to be a very target-rich environment,” Mr. Donath said.