Mayor Gray: 'I will remain in office if indicted'

(WJLA) -- D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray Thursday vigorously denied a rival’s suggestion that he is in talks with the federal prosecutor investigating his 2010 campaign, and he pledged to remain in office if indicted.

Gray, appearing on NewsChannel 8’s “NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt,” scoffed at Councilman and mayoral hopeful Vincent Orange’s March 12 assertion that “there are conversations now going on with the U.S. Attorney and Mr. Gray's legal team."

“That's a preposterous statement.. irresponsible.” Gray said after seeing a clip of Orange’s remarks. “(It’s) just as absurd as some of the statements that he's made on the campaign trail. My attorney is not involved in any negotiations or discussions with the US Attorney's office at this point.”

In the wake of media reports that the mayor’s attorney, Robert Bennett, expects Gray to be indicted in connection with the $600,000 “shadow campaign” that has already yielded numerous guilty pleas, we asked if he would remain in office after being charged.

“Sure,” Gray said. “I didn't do anything. So absolutely, I'm not going to walk away from this, from this situation.”

Regarding racially-tinged statements that Councilman Marion Barry made while endorsing Gray this week, the mayor said, “I’ve tried very hard to work with everybody.”

A new Gray campaign mailer warns of “powerful forces and two-faced politicians that want to take over our city (who) have been running a smear campaign” against the incumbent.

Who is this circular referring to?

“There’s lots of those folks. There’s seven or eight of them,” Gray said - an apparent reference to the seven Democrats, and perhaps the independent candidate, David Catania.

Early voting in the District began on Monday. Traditional polling locations open on primary day, April 1.