D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's closest political confidante flatly denied allegations of political corruption under oath Friday.
Lorraine Green testified before D.C. Council members that she never promised a job to minor mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown and did not pay him any money for attacks on ex-Mayor Adrian Fenty on the campaign trail. Brown has said he told the FBI that he received cash payments and a job in return for his attacks on Fenty. Federal authorities are reviewing the claims.
Green, who has known Gray for 30 years and has helped lead all of his political campaigns, said she did meet with Brown after he expressed interest in a job. Brown was a persistent, annoying presence, Green said, and while she did promise him an interview, she did not promise the $110,000-per-year job with the administration that Brown held for a brief time before reports about his past troubles with the law.
Gray also has denied any knowledge of any payoffs.
“I don’t find it entirely credible the position that you and the mayor maintain that this was simply about an interview,” Councilman David Catania said. “It does seem very cozy. It does seem very unusual.”
In her testimony, Green complained about leaked emails from the council investigation. Green also downplayed any role she had in staffing Gray's cabinet or hiring children of some appointees. She said she never had the direct influence that’s been alleged.
“I conducted no interviews for specific job placements,” she said.
Green answered almost every question but declined to discuss Howard Brooks, a campaign aide identified by Brown as the go-between for the payoffs. Green's attorney cut off the questions because of the federal investigation.