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Gray Handled Contributions From Thompson and Associates: Sources

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This week, News4 first disclosed a flurry of new grand jury subpoenas going to city politicians for campaign information involving Jeffrey Thompson and his associates dating to 2003.

Thompson's home and offices were raided by federal agents March 2.

Now, two sources directly involved with Gray's fund-raising say Gray himself personally showed up at his campaign headquarters one day with as much as $100,000 in contributions from Thompson and his associates.

Sources said the block of checks came in June 1, 2010 -- the crucial first reporting deadline when Gray was trying to show he was a credible candidate against former Mayor Adrian Fenty.

The number of $2,000 checks given on deadline created a problem to get them recorded before midnight June 10, sources said.

One source directly involved said of the Thompson contributions, "The candidate did have them himself."

The campaign until then, the source said, had "thought we were going to be lucky to be at $400,000 [in total contributions]."

Instead Gray's campaign reported $536,000 at the deadline.

Twice this week -- first Tuesday and again today -- Mayor Gray declined to comment on his role with Thompson and the surprisingly large block of checks.

Although there is no specific allegation of wrongdoing by Gray, several political professionals say it’s unusual for a candidate to handle large sums of campaign cash because, at minimum, it creates appearance problems.

Prosecutors in part want to know if all of the checks Thompson donated were really from a variety of people or if at least some of them were disguised checks from Thompson himself, sources said. Thompson has retained counsel and declined to comment.

In a related development Thursday, WAMU reporter Patrick Madden disclosed that WAMU had traced at least $59,000 in Thompson-related contributions to the Gray campaign based on official Gray campaign documents.

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