D.C. Councilmembers call for Mayor Gray’s resignation
Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray had knowledge of an illegal or secret “shadow campaign” during his run for mayor in 2010 by January of 2012, according to The Washington Post. The report comes at the heels of three D.C. Councilmembers who called for the resignation of the mayor following an admission by campaign consultant Jeanne Clarke Harris that she helped arrange a financial scam to get Gray elected. The report also marks the first time there’s been evidence the D.C. mayor knew about the illegal activity before Harris and businessman Jeffrey Thompson’s homes and offices were raided by the FBI in March.
Thompson has not been charged, but is allegedly the source of $650,000 in off-the-books expenses used for consultants, supplies, and other expenses supporting Gray in his election bid against former Mayor Adrian Fenty. According to the Post, Harris said she and Gray met on January 10, in the John A. Wilson Building. Sources reportedly told the Post Harris and Gray talked about the shadow expenditures, and Gray later told Harris to submit spending records to his staff. Harris admitted in District Court on Tuesday to funneling illicit funds through her public relations firm as part of what prosecutors call a “shadow campaign.”
D.C. Councilmembers David Catania, I-At Large, Muriel Bowser, D-Ward 4, and Mary Cheh, D-Ward 3, called for the mayor to resign in the wake of Harris’ guilty plea in District Court. “Whether he knew or not about the shadow campaign, the revelations from yesterday are such that the mayor should resign,” Catania said. “There is enough evidence to verify that his campaign was involved in the largest single criminal conspiracy in the history of modern home rule when it comes to electoral politics.” Following Catania, Cheh said, “Today, I join Councilmember Catania in calling on Mayor Gray to resign. Whether or not he knew of the massive election fraud that was taking place in his name, he is responsible for it.” Also joining the call, Bowser added, “It’s very clear the mayor is distracted. In the best interest of the city he should resign.”