Catania, Cheh, Bowser Call on Mayor Gray to Resign

Catania: "The legitimacy of the election was called into question"

Three members of the D.C. Council are now calling for the resignation of Mayor Vincent Gray.

The office of Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser told NBC4 around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday that she wants the mayor to step down, but didn't say anything further.

Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh -- who endorsed Gray during his 2010 campaign -- came out against him at 5:30 p.m.

"Whether or not [Gray] knew of the massive election fraud that was taking place in his name, he is responsible for it," she said in a statement.

At-Large Councilmember David Catania was the first elected official to call for Gray to step down -- just hours after Gray said he had "no plans" to do so.

"It's not enough for the mayor to just show up and say, 'This isn't the campaign we would have run'," Catania  told NBC4's Tom Sherwood. "It's the campaign [he] did run."

On Tuesday, one of Gray's longtime associates pleaded guilty to helping foster a $653,000 shadow campaign for Gray's 2010 campaign. Jeanne Clarke Harris, 75, could receive 30 to 37 months in prison, and a fine between $6,000 and $60,000.

Harris said she wasn't the person who came up with the plan, but declined to say who had.

"Whether he knew or not, he should step down," Catania said Wednesday. "The legitimacy of the election was called into question by all this illegal money. Gray should not be the beneficiary of that illegality. He needs to think about the best interest of the city."

Cheh had broken with her ward to endorse Gray for mayor in 2010. The vast majority of Ward 3 residents voted for incumbent Adrian Fenty. In an interview on NBC4 Wednesday evening, she said she was "very, very sad" to call for Gray's resignation.

"I believe that he would do a great public service if he would step aside now," she said in her statement.

But D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson said in a statement that it's too soon to demand Gray's resignation.

"I am not privy to any more information than what all of us are learning from news reports," he said. "Importantly, the U.S. Attorney has not accused the Mayor of having broken the law, and absent that charge the call for Vince Gray to resign is premature."

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells confirmed to NBC4's Tom Sherwood that he has not called for Gray's resignation, despite other reports to the contrary.

And Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans said he is not calling for Gray to resign, and will not comment further.

Stay with NBC4 and as the story develops.


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