WAMU 88.5 : News

Plea Deal In The Works For Businessman Behind D.C. Shadow Campaigns

Federal prosecutors are in the final stages of negotiating a plea deal with Jeffrey Thompson, the D.C. businessman accused of illegally funneling campaign contributions to Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign.

NBC4 and The Washington Post report that the plea deal, which could come as early as today, would mark the end of a three-year investigation that has ensnared both local and federal officials.

Thompson, who once held the city's lucrative health care contract, has been at the center of the investigation into Gray's troubled 2010 campaign, which benefited from $653,000 in illicit donations.

Seven people associated with Thompson or Gray's campaign have pleaded guilty to a number of offenses over the last two years, though Gray has steadfastly denied knowing anything about the so-called shadow campaign.

The news of a possible plea deal comes less than a month before D.C. voters head to the polls for the April 1 mayoral primary, in which Gray is fending off seven challengers to keep his job.

A recent WAMU/NBC4 poll found that a majority of residents believe that Gray did something illegal or unethical and that over half of potential voters said they'd be swayed to side against Gray due to the ongoing federal investigation.

At the WAMU debate last week, Gray said that while he had not spoken to federal prosecutors, his attorney had shared information with them. He also refused to answer any further questions on the issue.

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