The chairman of former Mayor Adrian Fenty's reelection campaign called on Mayor Vincent Gray to explain the campaign scandal engulfing his administration after two campaign workers pleaded guilty to a scheme that prosecutors say "deceived" voters.
On WAMU’s “Kojo Nnamdi Politics Hour” Friday veteran D.C. political figure Bill Lightfoot said he was stunned by the scheme to secretly funnel money to minor candidate Sulaimon Brown.
“Mr. Gray ran on a platform of integrity, of honesty, and I think it was very hypocritical to run a campaign on honesty when in fact they were not,” Lightfoot said.
Gray campaign workers Howard Brooks and Thomas Gore each pleaded guilty to secretly funding Brown in part of a wider criminal probe of Gray's campaign donations and expenses and a possible shadow campaign.
“Let's not minimize what occurred here,” Lightfoot said. “It was a deception of the public. It's deceiving the public, which is a major crime when you’re talking about elections and the fundamental, the bedrock of our democracy is having an open and honest election.”
It’s possible Gray knew or did nothing illegal, Lightfoot said, but many Fenty campaign workers would like to hear from Gray.
“Our view of it is, let the U.S. attorney do what he’s got to do,” Lightfoot said. “We don't know if he's innocent or not, and I’m not trying to say one way or the other, but I do think it’s time that the mayor tell us what he knows.”
Fenty has never publicly spoken about the Gray scandal. Gray, on advice from lawyers, is declining all comment.