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Top Gray aide faces campaign charges

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Local,DC

A top aide to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign was charged Monday with making illegal campaign contributions and destroying evidence.

Thomas Gore, the assistant treasurer of Gray's campaign and a longtime friend of the mayor, was charged in a criminal information, a type of legal filing that typically indicates that a guilty plea is imminent.

The four-page filing includes one federal charge: destruction of records in a federal investigation.

"Gore did knowingly destroy... a spiral notebook containing a record of payments to Candidate B by Campaign A," prosecutors wrote.

"Candidate B" is likely Sulaimon Brown, a failed candidate for mayor who alleged that the Gray campaign funneled cash to him in exchange for criticism of incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Brown has also said that Gray promised him a city job in exchange for his efforts.

Brown couldn't be immediately reached for comment Monday. 

Gore also faces three counts of making a contribution in the name of another person, a violation of District law.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said the charges carry up to 21 1/2 years in prison. Gore, however, would likely receive a far more lenient sentence if he entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors.

An initial court appearance for Gore has not been scheduled.

The charges come as federal investigators continue to probe corruption in District government. In addition to the investigation of the Gray campaign, D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown remains under scrutiny for financial irregularities in his own campaign.     

Prosecutors allege that Gore used Gray campaign funds to contribute $535 to another campaign. The donations, prosecutors said, were made using money orders.

Gray has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Robert Bennett, Gray's attorney, declined to comment Monday, citing the ongoing investigation.

USA v. Gore

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