A close friend and former aide of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray will serve six months in prison for his role in a scheme to rig the 2010 mayoral campaign. On Friday, a federal judge told Thomas Gore he deceived the D.C. people and dealt a blow to the District's effort to be autonomous. As News4's Mark Segraves reports, the sentencing also carried a warning for other politicians.
A former campaign aide to District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray was sentenced to six months in prison plus 180 days of home detention Friday for committing campaign finance violations and destroying evidence.
Thomas Gore served as the acting treasurer for Gray's 2010 campaign, in which Gray defeated incumbent Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary.
Gore pleaded guilty in May 2012 to making illegal payments to a minor candidate and shredding a notebook containing evidence of those payments. The candidate, Sulaimon Brown, was paid to stay in the race and make negative comments about Fenty.
During Friday's hearing in federal court, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly told Gore, "I'm not convinced you appreciate how you failed the people of the District of Columbia," reported News4's Mark Segraves.
Gore told her, "I am sentenced every day.... When I look in the faces of the citizens of D.C., I know I let them down."
He was the second of three campaign aides to Gray to plead guilty to felonies, and the investigation continues. The most serious charge involved $650,000 in illicit funds that prosecutors have said tainted Gray's victory.
Prosecutors had recommended the six-month prison term for Gore, who stood in a prayer circle holding hands with family members and friends before the hearing. He could have faced more than two years in prison.
Howard Brooks, another advisor to Gray, pleaded guilty and was given probation.
Gore's attorney Fred Cooke said his client has been unable to find work since his guilty plea and is all but broke, Segraves reported.
"Obviously, Mr. Gore has pled guilty because he is guilty, and he, as he said in court, is absolutely willing to accept the judgement of the court and he's done that," Cooke said.
Gore was not remanded to police custody following the hearing. He will turn himself in at a later date, Segraves reported.
Gray had no comment for reporters Friday.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE ON NBCWashington.com: