D.C. Mayor Under Fire as Corruption Probe Grows

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“It isn’t enough for the mayor to say this isn’t the campaign we intended to run. It was the campaign he ran.”

Gray’s problems began shortly after he took office in January 2011.

Former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown said he was paid by Mayor Vincent Gray’s campaign to undermine then-incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty. In May, Howard Brooks, 64, a consultant to the Gray campaign’s treasury and financial teams pleaded guilty to providing funds to Brown, destroying evidence and obstructing the investigation into the case and another was accused of lying to FBI agents during the investigation.

The administration’s woes were intensified by the Council’s own scandals, which have resulted in the resignation of two members – including the Council president – and the passage of new ethics rules.

By late Wednesday, Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), who represents the city’s largely white and affluent residents in Northwest D.C. and who switched her support from Fenty to Gray in 2010, also called for the mayor’s resignation.

Council member Muriel Bowser (D), who represents Ward 4, a powerful ward, also in Northwest, which helped deliver the mayoralty to Gray, and who wrote the ethics legislation, also called for Gray to resign.

“I think that it’s frankly in the best interest of our city,” Bowser, who is rumored to have mayoral aspirations, told Fox 5 News.

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) said the calls for Gray’s resignation were “premature” and “destabilizing to the government” because Gray has not been charged with a crime.

Under D.C. law, the Council president would become mayor if Gray steps down, which would make Mendelson the first white mayor since the city won home rule in the 1970s.

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. told reporters Tuesday that the corruption investigation was continuing and more charges were likely.

“The truth is going to come out in the end,” Machen said, “and it would be better for you to come forward on your own rather than wait for us to approach you.”

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