District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign paid a former fellow candidate and D.C. government employee to attack then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty last year in exchange for monetary compensation and a job. But a federal grand jury is now looking into whether Sulaimon Brown was in fact paid to bash Fenty and thanked for his efforts with a $110,000-a-year job from which he was eventually fired.
The focus of the investigation has been on campaign chair Lorraine Green and political operative Howard Brooks, who also have denied any wrongdoing.
“I’ve investigated this thoroughly,” Gray’s lawyer, Robert Bennett, told The Washington Examiner. “There is absolutely no merit to any accusations that Mayor Gray knew or participated or authorized any payments to Sulaimon Brown.”
Gray is not the only District government official living under a cloud of controversy. Council chairman Kwame Brown is dealing with allegations of campaign finance irregularities and council member Harry Thomas is being sued for allegedly misusing hundreds of thousands of city dollars and they’re not the only ones to be accused of various improprieties.
Meanwhile, the City Council is pushing five bills to enhance ethics rules for elected officials and improve its image.
“Residents need to know that this is at the top of our agenda and we’re looking at it seriously,” Council member Mary Cheh told The Examiner.
(Photo: Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times/Landov)