Graham: Gray owes D.C. 'a formal statement' on campaign

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Photo - D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray speaks at a news conference June 2. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray speaks at a news conference June 2. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)
Local,DC,Alan Blinder

Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham says he isn't yet calling on D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to resign because an illegal shadow campaign helped elect him, but he pressed the mayor to be more forthcoming about his knowledge of the illicit activities that took place.

"These difficult times require patience and forbearance," Graham said in a statement. "I have confidence in the U.S. Attorney to ferret out the truth in this matter. I want to wait for further developments before taking any other action."

Graham's remarks came after he met with Gray on Monday, six days after federal prosecutors detailed a $653,800 shadow campaign that helped Gray win the 2010 election.

Three members of the D.C. Council -- Muriel Bowser, David Catania and Mary Cheh -- have demanded that Gray resign.

Although he stopped short of urging Gray to quit, Graham said the mayor needs to say more about what he knew of the 2010 campaign.

"He should provide a formal statement on the campaign issues in an appropriate setting with the opportunity for questions," Graham said. "This is important for a questioning public that wants the best and most accurate information."

Last week, Gray acknowledged that the 2010 campaign was "not the campaign we intended to run."

Citing the counsel of his lawyer, though, Gray has declined to detail what he knew about the shadow campaign.

Officials close to the mayor, however, say he has privately denied knowing about the campaign before he learned of it in a January meeting with Jeanne Clarke Harris, one of its organizers.

Harris pleaded guilty last week to fraud and conspiracy charges, making her the third person associated with the Gray campaign to face prosecution.

Consultant Howard Brooks and Thomas Gore, the campaign's assistant treasurer, pleaded guilty in May to charges linked to a cover-up of the Gray campaign's payments to Sulaimon Brown, a minor mayoral candidate.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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Alan Blinder

Staff Reporter, D.C. City Hall
The Washington Examiner