Howard Brooks pleads guilty to lying about 2010 campaign payments
A second former aide to District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray pleaded guilty Thursday to a crime arising from Gray's 2010 campaign.
During his plea hearing, Howard Brooks admitted that he gave a lot more money to Sulaimon Brown in 2010 than originally thought.
Brooks was charged Wednesday with lying to the FBI about payments to another mayoral candidate, Sulaimon Brown. During Thursday's hearing, it was revealed that Brown received more than $2,000 in 10 money orders and an undetermined amount of cash, which is more than originally thought.
According to information presented in court, an unidentified person instructed Brooks to pay Brown during the campaign. It is unclear who the person was.
Another Gray campaign staffer, Thomas Gore, admitted this week that he and Brooks paid Brown to stay in the 2010 race and make negative comments about then-mayor Adrian Fenty.
Gray defeated Fenty by 10 percentage points.
Brooks faces a maximum of five years in prison but is likely to receive a substantially lighter penalty under federal guidelines.
At the opening of a new rec center Friday, Mayor Vincent Gray was still stonewalling reporters questions about the scandal around his 2010 campaign.
"Let's not go through the same drill again, alright?” he said.
But residents wonder was he personally involved in what the US Attorney called deceiving D.C. voters. In Ward 7, where Gray lives and defeated former mayor Adrian Fenty in the primary election, some residents believe that Gray has nothing to do with the ongoing scandal.
But in Ward 3, where Fenty received four times as many votes as Gray, it’s a different story.
"I would think he more likely would at least be aware that his people pushed the envelope,” say Ward 3 resident Barry Chambers.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.