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Former Gray Campaign Aide Howard Brooks Pleads Guilty

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, testifying for D.C. statehood in January. Two of his 2010 campaign aides have so far pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a federal probe.
AP Photo/Jim Cole
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, testifying for D.C. statehood in January. Two of his 2010 campaign aides have so far pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a federal probe.

A second former campaign staffer for District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has pleaded guilty to a federal offense arising from Gray's 2010 campaign.

Howard Brooks pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to the FBI about payments he made to long-shot mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown using Gray campaign funds. On Tuesday, former Gray aide Thomas Gore pleaded guilty to making the same payments and shredding records of them. The case has revealed the underhanded tactics used to get Gray elected, although the mayor has not been implicated in the ongoing federal probe.

Court records show that Brooks and Gore worked together to provide Brown with money so that he would stay in the race and use the platform to verbally attack then-mayor Adrian Fenty.

The scheme involved converting undocumented campaign funds into fraudulent money orders and giving them to Brown, who claims he was both paid and promised a job by the Gray campaign for his help. Gore pleaded guilty earlier this week to making the fraudulent donations to Sulaimon Brown and then destroying a spiral notebook that contained records of the payments.

Mayor Gray has not been charged with wrongdoing and has denied any knowledge of the payments to Brown. He declined to comment on the latest developments involving his mayoral campaign.

"As I have said for the last three or four months, we will let the investigation play itself out, as well as it should, and we will see where we are," Gray said.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Brooks would receive a maximum of 6 months in prison and could receive probation.

Both Brooks and Gore remain free pending sentencing.

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