Howard L. Brooks indicted, accused of making false statements

(Photo: Samuel Corum)

(ABC7/AP) Another member of Mayor Vincent Gray's campaign staff has been indicted on charges he made false statements to the FBI about making payments to Sulaimon Brown.

In documents filed with the United States District Court on Wednesday, the government alleges that Howard L Brooks lied about providing cash, money orders and other payments to Brown during the 2010 campaign.

The indictment comes a day after another aide to Mayor Gray, Thomas Gore, pleaded guilty to funneling campaign funds to Brown and then destroying the evidence.

Gore, the acting treasurer for Gray's campaign who pleaded guilty Tuesday, said in court that he was captured on a wiretap talking to Brooks about shredding evidence of payments to Brown. Brooks, who had not yet been charged earlier, was not mentioned by name in court and was referred to in documents as "Person A."

Brooks' attorney, Glenn Ivey, did not immediately return a message from the Associated Press seeking comment. He and the mayor are not close - Gray said in late 2011 that he had not spoken to Brooks all year - and Brooks is not well-known in district politics.

He is, however, a close personal friend of Lorraine Green, Gray's campaign chairwoman and closest adviser during his 2010 bid. Brown has said he also received money from Green before she delegated that task to Brooks.

Brooks was rewarded handsomely for his work on the Gray campaign, receiving $44,000 in consulting fees. He was also paid $34,500 by the Gray transition.

Mayor Gray declined to comment on the allegations, WTOP's Mark Segraves reports. Brooks was charged Wednesday in a criminal information, a document that typically means a defendant has reached a plea deal.

In his plea, Gore admitted to providing Brown, then a candidate for mayor as well, with funds to stay in the race and attack Gray's main opponent in the mayoral campaign, Adrian Fenty. At the time, the indictment says that Brooks was a member of the campaign's finance and treasury teams.

Brown has long maintained that he was paid by Gray's campaign and promised a job in the Gray administration in exchange for his harsh rhetoric about Fenty.

The allegations have rattled the administration of the first-term mayor, who has been the subject of a federal probe since Brown went public last March with allegations that he was paid by the Gray campaign and promised a job in the Gray administration in exchange for making disparaging comments about Fenty. Gray has denied knowledge of the payments.

Gray won the 2010 Democratic primary by 10 percentage points after tapping into widespread dissatisfaction with Fenty, perceived by many as aloof. Gray, 69, billed himself as the more ethical candidate, criticizing Fenty for steering lucrative government contracts to his fraternity brothers. But Gray's administration has been mired in scandal since shortly after he took office, and the federal probe continues.

Brown alleged that Gray was aware of the payments, which the mayor denies. Brown was appointed to a $110,000-a-year city government job in January 2011, shortly after Gray took office, and fired after less than a month.

On Wednesday, Brown called on Mayor Gray to resign in the wake of Gore's guilty plea.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.