D.C. Mayor Gray Engulfed in Scandal
By Barrington M. Salmon
D.C. U.S. Attorney Ron Machen Jr. dropped a bomb in the midst of the mayor’s race when one of the city’s most prominent donors pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to violate federal campaign finance laws, submitting false filings to the IRS and conspiring to violate District campaign finance laws.
Thompson, 58, once ruled the roost in the city, lavishing money on a parade of past and present local politicians, including Council members Jack Evans, Vincent Orange, Muriel Bowser, David Catania; Jim Graham; former Council members Kwame Brown, Michael Brown, Harry Thomas Jr.; and former Mayor Adrian Fenty.
The only person on the council not to have received money from Thompson’s deep pockets is Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells.
“This is a sad day for D.C. government, but justice is prevailing. The U.S. Attorney has ensured that Jeffrey Thompson won’t get away with illegally putting a mayor and council members in office so he could get multimillion dollar contracts,” said Wells. “I’m the only candidate running for mayor who has never taken money or benefited from Jeffrey Thompson or his associates. That’s why I was never subpoenaed or questioned in this case — unlike the other council members. Muriel Bowser, Vincent Orange, Jack Evans were all subpoenaed. I’m the guy who Jeffrey Thompson tried to defeat — because I guess he knew I couldn’t be bought.”
“People deserve to know their government isn’t corrupt.”
The prized scalp Machen and federal prosecutors seek is that of Mayor Vincent. C. Gray and Thompson’s appearance in federal court signals Machen’s intent, now out in the open to nail Gray. In federal court, Thompson said he’d made more than $2 million in under the table contributions to campaigns, including Gray’s 2010 mayoral bid.
Thompson asserts that Gray had extensive knowledge about the web of illegal fundraising that propelled him to win the 2010 election campaign. The feds say Gray was aware of the covert and illicit actions that allowed him to bolster the Gray campaign with $663,000 in illegal campaign contributions which Gray has strenuously denied.