D.C. mayor says he won't resign over scandal
March 11th, 2014
06:06 PM ET
6 years ago

D.C. mayor says he won't resign over scandal

(CNN) - Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said on Tuesday he would not resign as prosecutors for the first time sought to tie him to a political scandal.

In an interview with CNN, Gray again denied any wrongdoing following the biggest guilty plea so far in the federal probe of a nearly $700,000 unlawful "shadow campaign" that was part of his successful 2010 mayoral run.

In court on Monday, prosecutors claimed that Gray was aware of the illegal fundraising and helped cover it up.

While the U.S. Attorney's office openly accused Gray of wrongdoing, it has not filed any charges at this point.

Gray denies any tie to the scheme that prosecutors said was masterminded by businessman Jeffrey Thompson, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Monday.

"I've made the clear for months now years, that I knew nothing about this and I had nothing to do with it," Gray told CNN on Tuesday.

He said he doesn't feel that he did anything wrong in the 2010 campaign, has operated "openly and honestly," and has no plans to step down.

"I have no intention of resigning. I haven't done anything and there is no reason to do that," Gray said in his downtown office.

"Remember, I am in the last year of my term, first of all, and I am not just going to walk away like that. I don't have a reason to walk away," he said.

Gray is running for reelection.

Four other top campaign aides have pleaded guilty to felonies related to the shadow campaign.

Thompson, 58, used his companies to funnel millions of dollars in off-the-book contributions to various federal and city candidates, court papers said.

Regarding Gray, Thompson and his unnamed co-conspirators allegedly disbursed "approximately $668,800 in excessive and unreported corporate contributions to pay for campaign services and campaign materials in coordination with and in support of" Gray's campaign, the court papers said.

According to prosecutors, Thompson used the code name "Uncle Earl" when dealing with Gray.

Gray said he and Thompson did employ the code name, but only because Thompson's business relied on government contacts and he feared retribution from Mayor Adrian Fenty, the incumbent who Gray defeated in Democratic primary balloting.

Gray said he didn't think this arrangement was odd because he "knew the incumbent had a reputation for seeking retribution."

In the upcoming Democratic primary, the incumbent Gray is facing challenges from at least 10 candidates, including four Democratic council members.

Gray told CNN that it appeared he was being made to take the fall for something he didn't do. He called the process "infuriating," especially considering the way the upcoming election has amplified the knocks on his ethics.

"I think it has resonated during the campaign already," Gray said about attacks on ethics. "People have brought it up and my suggestion to them is if they have anything that is factual associated with this, go down to see the U.S. attorney and report it."

Gray said that he believed voters would trust his leadership and the way he steered the city for the past three years, adding that these allegations don't fit with his history of public service.

"I think if you look at my life," Gray concluded, "my life is one that I am very proud of and this situation is one that, at best, I can describe as an anomaly."

Filed under: Vincent Gray • Washington D.C.
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Pander Bear

    And how is this different from the "excessive and unreported corporate contributions to pay for campaign services and campaign materials in coordination with and in support of" Scott Walker?

    March 11, 2014 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Washington Mayor Vincent Gray looks like a slim shady kinda guy !

    What a great city to run , a city where change is going to come and the money never stops flowing .

    March 11, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. JRD

    Washington D.C. is a poorly run city and has been for quite some some. It's rife with corruption from the top down and the people have been short changed in basic services for years. Gray is just as corrupt as the infamous Marion Barry but the black citizens will continue to defend these crooks because they're also black.
    You have to question the mentality of people who keep voting this kind of element into office despite their knowledge of the candidates short comings. I live in nearby Prince Georges county which is no better and just as crime ridden and corrupt. I feel no sympathy for those people as long as they keep voting based on their twisted ideology of "keeping one of our own" in office.
    It's happening nationwide in big cities and in the end the same people are wondering why their cities are failing them. Stupidity and ignorance running rampant!

    March 11, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. just asking

    dirty, corrupt democrats, more of the same, chicago, dc, detroit, san diego,... and this criminal activity extends to hillary clinton's 2008 campaign as well. and isn't it the democrats that are always accusing others of this stuff?

    i've said it before and i will say it again, the democrat party needs to be investigated and prosecuted under the rico statutes because it is the biggest organized criminal conspiracy going on in this country. they make the mafia look like choir boys.

    March 11, 2014 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. stuartx1

    Hillary and Gov Mcauliffe should find an attorney. this should be the focus of any reported who is looking for a pulitzer.

    March 11, 2014 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. Me

    He's a democrat, he will get a raise, and probably a higher position.

    March 11, 2014 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. Smitty

    Let me guess, another dem and Obumbles supporter. They have done so well with the economy NOT !!!!

    March 11, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  8. bigdoglv

    Why do you refuse to state his political party affiliation?

    March 11, 2014 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |

    Of course because democrats ZERO shame, common sense and a complete lack of what's right and wrong.

    March 12, 2014 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  10. Legal Permit to Carry

    Funny that they don't mention the fact that he's a democrat in this article...

    March 12, 2014 05:36 am at 5:36 am |