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Hearing for guilty Gray campaign aide delayed

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

A federal judge has delayed a hearing about the future of the case against the assistant treasurer of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign.

Thomas Gore, who pleaded guilty in May to four charges linked to a cover-up of a plan to pay a minor mayoral candidate, was to have appeared in court on Aug. 29 for a status hearing. Citing a conflict with the court's calendar, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly postponed the hearing until Sept. 4.

Gore was the first person linked to the Gray campaign to plead guilty in the wake of a long-running investigation into the 2010 election.

In court documents, Gore acknowledged that he helped orchestrate illegal payments to Sulaimon Brown, a minor mayoral candidate, in exchange for Brown remaining in the Democratic primary and criticizing Adrian Fenty, the incumbent mayor and Gray's political rival.

He also admitted to shredding a notebook documenting the payments as federal investigators probed what transpired.

He pleaded guilty to a federal charge of destroying records, as well as three counts of breaking D.C. campaign finance laws. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Gore faces a sentence of 12-18 months in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.

Gore's guilty plea began the legal unraveling of the Gray campaign. Soon after, Howard Brooks, a campaign consultant, admitted to his role in the effort to hide the payments to Brown, and Jeanne Clarke Harris, a communications strategist, admitted to helping design a $653,800 shadow campaign to benefit Gray.

The mayor has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing. Federal prosecutors have said their investigation continues.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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