A former campaign aide to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was sentenced to 24 months probation and 200 hours community service Wednesday afternoon for lying to the FBI about payments he and others made to another mayoral candidate during the 2010 campaign.
Howard Brooks pleaded guilty in May. Sentencing guidelines called for Brooks, a 64-year-old businessman from Silver Spring, Md., to receive a sentence of up to six months, but in a memo filed last month, prosecutors said they wouldn't insist on jail time. They said that after he lied to investigators initially, Brooks provided “substantial assistance” to investigators.
"After 20 months of anguish, pain and embarrassment, I stand here today with a contrite heart," Brooks said. "I did break the law and for that I am truly sorry."
The sentence also prohibits Brooks from participating in any political campaign without permission from a probation officer, but his attorney said Brooks has no such plans, the Associated Press reported.
Thomas Gore, another former Gray aide, also pleaded guilty to making the same payments and shredding records of them.
The case revealed underhanded tactics used to get Gray elected, but the mayor has not been implicated in the ongoing federal probe. Brooks and Gore admitted that minor candidate Sulaimon Brown was paid to make negative comments about then-Mayor Adrian Fenty at campaign events.
Brown, who according to prosecutors received at least $2,810 from the Gray campaign, later was given a job in the mayor's administration. He went public after being fired in less than a month.
Another campaign aide, Eugenia Clarke Harris, pleaded guilty to what prosecutors call a "shadow campaign" -- directing $650,000 in unreported funds from a D.C. businessman to the campaign.