Firm founded by figure in Gray probe partners with Barry turkey giveaway

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

Ward 8 D.C. Councilman Marion Barry's partners for his annual turkey giveaway include a health care company formerly controlled by a key figure in the investigation of Mayor Vincent Gray's campaign.

Barry's office said Monday afternoon that its "community partners and volunteers" include Chartered Health Plan, the Medicaid management company that Jeffrey Thompson ran until October, when the District government placed the corporation in receivership.

Barry's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Chartered's role in the Thanksgiving handout, though he told the Washington City Paper on Monday that "liberal white folks" are the only people who care about the sources for support for turkey giveaways.

Along with his former status as the city's largest contractor, Thompson is also a central figure in the long-running probe of Gray's 2010 run for mayor. Although Thompson has not been charged with any crime, people familiar with the investigation have said Thompson bankrolled a $653,800 "shadow campaign" to boost Gray's prospects.

Federal authorities raided Thompson's home and offices in March on the same night they searched properties linked to Jeanne Clarke Harris, a longtime associate. Harris pleaded guilty in July to charges related to the shadow campaign.

Gray has denied wrongdoing.

Barry will stage his Tuesday turkey giveaway at Union Temple Baptist Church, which employed Vernon Hawkins, another person who reportedly played a role in organizing the shadow campaign.

Hawkins has largely remained out of sight in recent months, though a photograph of him and Barry at the mayor-for-life's election night party on Nov. 6 surfaced on Twitter.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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Alan Blinder

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