Feds: DC mayor knew of illegal shadow campaign
This photo taken through a courthouse window shows Washington businessman Jeffrey Thompson checked by security as he enters the federal courthouse in Washington, Monday, March 10, 2014. Thompson was charged Monday with conspiracy to violate federal and local campaign finance laws by funding off-the-books campaign activity for candidates including Hillary Rodham Clinton and district Mayor Vincent Gray. after being charged this morning in a criminal information with two conspiracy offenses stemming from an ongoing investigation . Thompson is suspected of funneling illicit funds into Mayor Gray's campaign.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors say District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray was aware of an off-the-books "shadow campaign" to support his 2010 bid and personally requested the funds from an influential district businessman.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson disclosed the details in court Monday when reading a document that described the activities of the businessman, Jeffrey Thompson, who pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges.
Atkinson said that "Gray presented Mr. Thompson with a 1-page budget for $425,000. He asked Mr. Thompson to pay for a get-out-the-vote campaign. Mr. Thompson agreed."
The charges against Thompson come as Gray seeks re-election against seven challengers in the April 1 Democratic primary.
Grey has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing in the 2010 campaign.