The U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee launched an investigation into allegations that D.C. Mayor Vince Gray's campaign paid a minor mayoral candidate to attack then-Mayor Adrian Fenty on the campaign trail.
Sulaimon Brown was later given an $110,000-a-year city job, but was fired a short time later after reports of his past run-ins with the law. That prompted Brown's allegations against the Gray camp, as the mayor had broken the alleged deal.
"I was deeply concerned by allegations made by a former mayoral candidate and political appointee of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray," said Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). "Even after the Home Rule Act, the federal government still has significant responsibilities and federal taxpayer dollars fund a large portion of the District’s budget."
Previously, Issa instructed his investigative staff to try to determine whether the city would be able to quickly and fairly investigate these allegations. Investigators talked to some people, but attempts to interview key people close to the mayor, including former Chief of Staff Gerri Mason Hall, who resigned Wednesday, were unsuccessful.
"The initial findings of these efforts do not give me confidence that the District government can make this evaluation," Issa said.
The congressional review into Brown's allegations is the third. The FBI has talked to Brown, and the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance and Ethics is investigating the allegations.
Gray has denied any wrongdoing. He and several of his campaign officials have retained private lawyers.
Gray said he welcomes any investigation into the matter and will cooperate.
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