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After Sulaimon Brown Testimony, Answers Still Elusive

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Sulaimon Brown claims that the campaign of Mayor Vincent Gray engaged him in a quid-pro-quo scheme during the 2010 election season. A grand jury is now investigating those allegations, according to NBC4.
Patrick Madden
Sulaimon Brown claims that the campaign of Mayor Vincent Gray engaged him in a quid-pro-quo scheme during the 2010 election season. A grand jury is now investigating those allegations, according to NBC4.

Brown's allegations of a quid-pro-quo scheme with the Vincent Gray campaign that yielded him a $110,000 per year position in the District government have rocked the new administration and led to several outside investigations.

In terms of theatrics, Sulaimon Brown's testimony before the council could have played on Broadway, starting with Brown's refusal to take off his jet black sunglasses in the hearing room.

The drama didn't let up during Brown's repeated back-and-forth, and often combative, exchanges with council members, including this one, in which Council member David Catania questioned Brown's credibility.

"The fact that that was somehow taken away from you, you feel your sense of entitlement has been challenged," Catania said of Brown's position within the Gray administration, from which he was fired in February.

"Is one of your jobs a fairy tale writer?" Brown shot back, talking over the council member. "Because I don't know what you're basing this on. Do you have something to support what you're saying ... no."

"...So you turn on the executive and here we are today," continued Catania. "So Mr. Brown, I see exactly why you were fired from the department."

That's how it went for most of the day. But in terms of getting any closer to finding out if Brown's allegations are true – whether he was in fact paid and promised a job by the Gray campaign for help during the race -- the council was out of luck. The truth remains elusive.

And Brown went as far as to level new charges that Gray himself ordered one of the payoffs.

After the hearing, Catania said he didn't feel, after all of the hours of hearings on the topic during the past few months, that the council was any closer to the truth.

"I don't think we'll ever really know what happened," he says. "I think he definitely has some circumstantial evidence that points to certain payoffs, but as of now there's no evidence that links these payoffs to Mayor Gray -- absolutely none whatsoever."

Catania added that the Brown's credibility was called into question by his behavior. "He's not a credible person in my mind," he said. "All of its sad, and it's a waste of time and energy. I don't know how it's going to finally play itself out."

It may play out in the form of an answer from the U.S. Attorney's office, which is also investigating the Gray campaign.

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