A former campaign aide to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Tuesday to funneling campaign funds to another mayoral candidate and then shredding records of the transaction.
Thomas Gore—who was the acting treasurer of Gray’s campaign in 2010—admitted that he converted excessive or unattributed cash donations to Sulaimon Brown, a minor candidate in the race, according to The AP.
These payments were meant to keep Brown in the race so Brown could keep making attack statements about incumbent Adrian Fenty, Gray’s main competitor in the race.
Gore also admitted to lying to the FBI about shredding a notebook that contained information about these payments.
Brown, according to the AP, has long said that Gray paid him to make the comments and promised him a job in the administration when he became mayor. Brown says Gray was aware of the payments, which Gray has denied.
Gore pleaded guilty to a felony obstruction-of-justice charge for the attempted cover-up and three misdemeanors relating to the money orders.
He could be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison.
* Washington City Paper reported that D.C. police and firefighter union officials are asking for an investigation into the burning of District personnel files, including medical files containing private information.
The two unions heads say that last Friday around 5 p.m., a D.C. fire engine company was dispatched to the city's fire department training academy to put out three fires in dumpsters, which turned out to be filled with personnel files of cops and firefighters.
The union heads provided the inspector general with pictures and a video of the incident.
The union heads asked for the IG to determine whether city rules regarding the safekeeping of personnel files were followed, according to WCP. In the letter, the unions also asked whether some of these records could have been potential evidence in current or future lawsuits.
* The Maryland Court of Appeals unanimously rejected an attempt by the Libertarian and Green parties to get their candidates back on the state ballot by petition, according to The Maryland Reporter.
“In its 7-0 decision released Monday, the court overruled a Circuit Court judge and upheld the State Board of Elections’ rejection of thousands of signatures on petitions to permit the two minor parties to be back on this year’s ballot.
The two parties were forced to go the petition route after neither gained 1% of the votes for governor in the 2010 election – 18,759 votes. When that happens they must again gather the signatures of at least 10,000 registered voters to win a place on the ballot for their candidates, who are nominated by party conventions.”
The elections board had rejected 60 percent of the signatures the parties turned in because the petition was not correctly filled out.
* The Conservative Group Crossroads GPS is airing another anti-Obama ad in 10 swing states, including Virginia.
Watch the ad here:
* Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, along with 14 other state attorney generals, are asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. to appeal a decision blocking the importation of an execution drug.
Sodium thiopental makes inmates unconscious and is the first of three drugs used in lethal injections, but it is no longer manufactured in the United States and is in short supply, according to The RTD.
* Former D.C. Councilman Bill Lightfoot and civic activist Marie Drissel are urging Mayor Vincent Gray to open a nationwide search for the District’s chief financial officer, according to The Washington Post.
The current CFO, Natwar M. Gandhi, is finishing up his second five-year term in July and it falls to Gray to reappoint Gandhi or find another candidate.
Via The Post:
“Taking into account the fiscal and economic challenges facing the CFO’s office, as well as several troubling cases of fraud and theft of public monies, we urge you to launch a national search for a CFO (which should include Dr. Gandhi) and hire the best possible candidate to steward the District’s finances,” Lightfoot and Drissel write.
Gray has not yet answered questions on Gandhi’s tenure.