Former D.C. Mayor Gray Wants End to Federal Probe

Former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has been out of office five months, but he has been under federal investigation five years – with no end in sight.

Gray has mostly kept a low profile since turning the city reigns over to Mayor Muriel Bowser Jan. 2, but the investigation was back in the news.

The former mayor sat down at WPFW 89.3 FM radio for a one-hour interview with guest host Chuck Thies. You might remember Thies managed Gray’s 2014 bid for reelection. The two men had a friendly conversation and Thies right off the top acknowledged his association with Gray.

But Thies also asked how the mayor was feeling about the long-running probe into the $600,000 shadow campaign that helped elect Gray in 2010. Gray, in a few terse words, said there was “nothing” new.

After the radio show, Gray spoke a bit more about the probe with News4.

Is it wrapping up? “I have no idea, Tom,” the mayor replied. “That’s something they’ll have to decide.”

Asked if it was interfering with his ability to get on with his life, Gray said, “I’m doing the things that I want to do at this stage.” Gray has worked on remodeling his house, taught a class at Catholic University and worked with a writer on public policy and gentrification, but nothing full time.

“Obviously, I wish that [investigation] were over with. I think it should be over with and I hope it is soon,” Gray said.

Thies spoke up for Gray, a native Washingtonian with a long history of public service.

“The investigation [itself] is the scandal,” Thies said. Noting the five-year investigation, Thies said, “It’s clear that Mayor Gray did nothing wrong. He has been saying that for five years. And this thing is just petering out.”

Longtime U.S. Attorney Ron Machen, who began the probe in the spring of 2011, stepped down April 1st. His long-time deputy Vincent Cohen Jr. is the acting U.S. Attorney.

A spokesman for the office issued a brief statement in response to Gray.

"The investigation involving the 2010 mayor's election is active and on-going,” said William Miller.

Also during the radio program, Thies asked Gray if he’d consider running for any of the council seats open next year. Gray, a former Ward 7 Council member and former Council Chairman, smiled and said, “I rule nothing out, nothing in.” Gray said he hadn’t thought about reviving his political career. But his smile suggested he enjoyed thinking about it today. But political observers say Gray’s future is still contingent on what the U.S. attorney does or doesn’t do.

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